JOSEPH ELWOOD ANDERSON
THIRD DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MS DISTRICT
Mr. and Mrs. John Burbon Anderson lived near Philadelphia, MS and welcomed a new arrival of a son, Joseph Elwood, on January 30, 1905. However, this young lad never knew his mother as she died at his birth. From an early age the name, Joseph Elwood was reduced to J.E. Thus, we all knew him as J.E. Anderson.
Most of his early years were spent around the Philadelphia area. Cotton being king, it was in the hot summer time that J. E. went to Inverness, Mississippi to pick cotton. As fate would have it, he met the love of his life, Elnora Adams. Then on May 18, 1924, J.E. and Elnora were united in marriage. From this union came three daughters: Eva Mae Hughes-deceased, M. Louise McNeamer-deceased, and Willie Evelyn Givens.
Even before receiving the Holy Ghost, J. E. had been taking care of a little Methodist Church. But God had more in store for J.E. and Elnora and so it was that they both received the Holy Ghost on the same night. Almost immediately he began to evangelize and tell others about this great plan of salvation. He received the Holy Ghost about August 19, 1930 at McClain Chapel, Pastor D. J. Ward. McClain Chapel is located on Highway 16 approximately 5-6 miles East of Philadelphia. He was baptized by J. Spears on August 26, 1930 and started preaching right away. Two years later he was ordained in Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ in August of 1932 by Elders Casey and Fauss
They evangelized until 1937 when he began his many years of Pastoring which included the following locations: North Bend near Philadelphia; Goodway-Marks, 1939-1947 it was stated, “He brought the Holy Ghost message to North Mississippi”; Poplarville (Three different times); Leaksville; Amory; Aberdeen; Moorhead; Belzoni; Jayess; Corinth; and Walnut.
During his many years of ministry, many of you will remember that he and Sister Anderson sang, and the most requested song was, “Lets’ Go!”
Verse 1. When Moses came to the great Red Sea, how to cross, he did not know. The Lord raised up the waters high and the Angels said. “Let’s Go”.
Chorus. Let’s Go! Come on! Let’s Go! Where to! To the land where milk and honey flow, with a bounding heart, we’ll make a start, All aboard! Hurry up! Let’s Go!
Verse 2. When the spies returned from the Canaan Land where the milk and honey flowed, some said, “We’ll never possess the land.” But others said, “Let’s Go!”
Verse 3. Some glad morning, bright and fair, from the land of sin and woe the Lord will call His children home. Come on! Hurry up! Let’s go!
Brother Anderson held various offices in the Mississippi District including: Presbyter, President of Pentecost Bible Institute, Chaplain under Governor Cliff Finch, and District Superintendent from April 1957-May 1970. While serving as District Superintendent in 1964, he bid on the Arlington High School buildings and 23 acres of land. His bid of $5,000.00 was the only bid thus the property was secured for the Mississippi District United Pentecostal CampGrounds. Reverend Lloyd Adcock stated, “I went with Brother Anderson the day he bid on the Arlington High School property. It is amazing that I attended school here and now it was going to be our campgrounds and I will attend church here” This property served as the Camp Grounds until the present property was purchased in 1973 and the campgrounds moved to Highway 18, 6 miles West of Jackson.
J. E. Anderson died on October 1, 1981 at Neshoba County Hospital, Philadelphia, MS and was buried at Bloomfield Cemetery near Philadelphia, MS.
Elnora Anderson was District Ladies Auxiliary President (one year) 1958 and District Ladies Auxiliary Secretary for 2 years. She was very active in the ministry and was a great asset to Brother Anderson in his ministry. Together, they attended General Conventions and meetings.
Even after her husband’s death she continued to work in her home church at the First Pentecostal Church in Philadelphia, MS. Later, due to failing health and age, she moved to live near her family in Memphis, Tennessee and then in Horn Lake, Mississippi.
She exemplified a Christ-like attitude in conduct, spirit, and appearance. She was born on September 2, 1905 and lived to be 93. She died on April 16, 1999 and was also buried at Bloomfield Cemetery near Philadelphia, MS.
The District Board has approved a J. E and Elnora Anderson memorial fund in appreciation for over 50 years of service to the Oneness Doctrine and their services to the Mississippi District. If you desire, you too may make contributions to this fund.
To J. E. and Elnora Anderson, we all say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”