Record of New Pioneer Memorial Church Pastor Raises Campus Compatibility Questions

On March 22, 2023, Shane Anderson was confirmed as the next senior pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He will replace Dwight Nelson, who is retiring this May after serving in that role since 1983. For the last 19 years, Anderson has served as the senior pastor of the New Market Seventh-day Adventist Church in rural Virginia, which serves Shenandoah Valley Academy and an elementary school.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The calculated appointments from this General Conference leadership such as this one are continuing to drive a wedge of division and loss of confidence that Adventism has relevance in 21st century society. As this shaking of Adventism goes on, one of its positive outcomes must be how it highlights the beauty of the gospel in Christ alone, through faith alone, in contrast to the SDA preference for judgmental demarcation and separation from the human condition and woe. It is such an opposite to the incarnating, embracing ministry and mission of Jesus, the God who ‘became flesh and dwelt among us’.


How in the world does this happen? I am just dumbfounded. Add this appointment to that of the incoming president of the university, and it sounds like Andrews University is proceeding on a regressive path.


It’s called ‘stacking the deck’ by the wishes of TW.


Oh man!! Just what the Church and Andrews needs at this time! Talk about retrogression…

Anderson’s “sources say” style combines with a dismissal of “sound science or medical practice” in a sermon delivered titled “Religious Liberty On Trial—A Vaccine Against Freedom.” In point four of his message, he states that masks are a tool of Satan to keep Christians from sharing the gospel. Toward the end of his sermon, Anderson uses air quotes when referring to the so-called “sound science or medical practice” involved in public health restrictions. He concludes the sermon by warning that medically justified precautions can be tools of Satan to slowly “vaccinate society” against religious freedom.

One wonders what Shane would think if he had to have abdominal surgery performed by surgeons that didn’t wash their hands, or wear masks during the procedure? Is the planet earth really round, or flat?

God help us!


Neosubordinationists are not Christians, as per Athanasius, the greatest exponent of the Trinity in the history of Christendom. Listening to a neosubordinationist preach is like listening to a Mormon or a transcendentalist make backhanded compliments about Jesus. It’s infuriating. The featured speaker this summer at the Michigan Conference camp meeting is Stephen Bohr, the most notorious neosubordinationist in the SDA Church today. He denies, as all neosubordinationists deny, that the Son is omnipotent and sovereign. Instead, he urges that the Son is subordinate to the Father and that the Son takes orders from the Father, and in so doing, implies that the Son does not possess the fullness of divinity that the Father possesses. Bohr’s anti-Trinitarianism is so recognizably offensive to the Andrews University community that when he visited, he was not allowed to speak at PMC, the Seminary chapel, the Howard Performing Arts Center, or Buller Hall but was relegated to the small amphitheater in the Science Complex on the edge of campus where heretics are allowed to present their ideas.

Neosubordination, otherwise known as Eternal Functional Subordination, otherwise known as the complementarian doctrine of the Trinity, is the principal component of male headship theory, which undergirds SDA opposition to women’s ordination. No SDA opponent of women’s ordination has ever publicly and unequivocally denounced this anti-Trinitarian heresy. No SDA opponent of women’s ordination has ever stood for Jesus amidst the relentless attacks against Him by the counterfeit trinity.

I like Michigan Conference president Jim Micheff, Jr. But I’m a good-natured person. It’s easy for me to like him, Mormons, transcendentalists, Marcionites, Valentinians, Basilidians, Manichees, Cataphyrigians, Novatians, Meletians, Arians, and others who have never fully believed the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

Certainly, Shane Anderson deserves the benefit of the doubt, even though such doubt is raised by what he has said and done. But what are we going to do if he as our new senior pastor at PMC turns out to be a neosubordinationist? I suppose we might lament, echoing Jerome: “Pioneer Memorial Church groaned and was astonished to find itself neo-Arian.” But that’s not the only thing we should do, what we have been called by Christ to do.

Athanasius suffered five exiles totaling seventeen years as a result of his fidelity to the Trinity. A story is told of his confrontation with Emperor Theodosius. Emperor Theodosius demanded that Athanasius cease opposing Arius and pointedly asked, “Do you not realize that the world is against you?” Athanasius quickly answered, “Then I am against the world.” And he has been honored with the name Athanasius Contra Mundum ever since. Like Athanasius, let us not cower from similar confrontations. Like Athanasius, let us be Christians.


You cannot exaggerate the “blowback” that is building for the arrogance of the Michigan leadership, who do not know better but should, to appoint someone as ill-fitting to a University pulpit as this sincere but misguided pastor. He will not capture the faculty or most of the thoughtful students on that campus. Unless the attendance at church is almost cruelly compulsory, empty pews will greet him.


This is concerning, but should we be surprised? Ted Wilson is micromanaging (inappropriately) the denomination at every level. This and the appointment of the AU president bear his mark. Is there any hope left for the church?

We plan to become “Nones” in 15 months time, although we’ll leave our official membership with an SDA congregation that we believe is non-conformist, but too far away for us to attend regularly. We have come to believe that there is no denomination (SDA or not) that we can support. We will worship God on Sabbath from home (and, no, probably not via Zoom).


I appreciate your generosity, Phil, but we have suffered an exile of over 30 years here in the Michigan Conference with no end in sight. I must admit that I am losing my patience with the long game.


I became a baptized member of the SDA Church when I was 12 years old - I’m now 85. I’ve come to believe that what matters most is LOVE - love to God and love to others as He loves us. Whatever we do without that love is meaningless, as is stated clearly in the gospels. I’ve seen many people carefully ‘guarding the edges’ of the Sabbath but being unkind and judgemental. I can’t attend my SDA church for health reasons - it’s too far away. I always keep the Sabbath at home by watching wonderful sermons on YouTube, and I now attend a lovely Anglican church nearby on Sundays. The genuine love and friendship I receive there is heart warming. I also have many friends who make no profession of faith but who are the kindest and most caring people possible. I can’t be bothered with cruel arguments about gay people and women’s ordination. I have several gay friends and again, they are most loving and caring. God loves them as He loves us all - let’s stop judging and start loving.


My thank to Alex for this excellent journalism. This is not the time to give up on our denomination as though our only alternatives are either to accept Elder Wilson’s version of it or leave. This is not the time to wallow in discouragement and fear. This is not the time to depart with understandable disgust at everything you can’t endorse.
This is the time to invest more time, money and energy in helping a different and better kind of Adventism to flourish. One excellent way to do that is to send money–cold, hard cash–to AF/Spectrrum so that it can keep the bright light of excellent journalism shining on such dark developments. Our goal is not to bend the whole denomination in our direction. It is to keep Adventism as pluralistic as it always has been by nourishing our version of it.


It doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that I read Psalm 15:1–3 this morning:

1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;

I encourage everyone to listen to Shane Anderson’s sermons and read what he has written to obtain a proper perspective of his views and qualifications to lead at PMC. Not sure how following the Bible and Adventist doctrines discredits someone from being a pastor of an SDA church, including PMC. If you put aside your preconceived notions, perhaps prejudiced by this article, and listen and read with a humble spirit, you may come to appreciate Shane in a more positive light and perhaps realize that he actually is a great fit for PMC and Andrews University. As a long-time PMC member, elder and deacon, I am very much looking forward to having Shane as our new pastor.


Pioneer Memorial has taken about 3 giant steps backwards in terms of supportive, grace filled ministry; doubtless Michigan and the GC are pleased to remove any vestige of a socially prophetic voice it’s pastorate once had. Such unenlightened anti-science views belong to a “bible college” and not a University, but then the powers that be seem to be working hard to turn Andrews in to just such a fundamentalist institution…


I so agree. I do see some glimmer of hope that just happened within a large Adventist church and would love Spectrum to write about it. The Senior Pastor of Southern Adventist Univerity’s church, David K. Ferguson just accepted a call to be lead pastor at Crosswalk Chattanooga. Many know that the Collegedale church is what one would consider a traditional SDA church. Crosswalk is what I would consider a very progressive SDA church. (Full disclosure, I am a member of Crosswalk Redlands and believe it is where Adventism should be headed). While Elder Wilson keeps doing his own thing, I also see local SDA churches inspired to blaze new paths in Adventism.
Ok Spectrum, let’s have an article on what’s happening at Collegedale.


SdA ships passing in the night about a mile apart as the crow flies:

TW is a member of?

Closest to his residence is:


This appointment is a disaster for Andrews University. Sounds like T. Wilson led the search committee. Ever backward is Wilson’s motto. There is nothing progressive or healing about his leadership of the church, and it sounds like Shane Anderson follows in his footsteps. I hope that many fewer students choose Andrews as their college. This pastor will just terrify them and might in the end cause them to leave the church. I am so saddened by this state of affairs, but it confirms my thought that the church under this leadership is no place for those of us who believe in progressive revelation and in the love and compassion of Jesus.


I admittedly may need a refresher course in EGW-ism but growing up SDA, it was my understanding of her eschatology that the 2nd Coming would not, and perhaps could not happen until after The Shaking of her newly formed denomination had occurred.

From what I’ve seen recently, it seems obvious that TW thinks he can personally hasten Jesus’ return, if not with a brute force, physical shaking of any “less then ‘true’ Adventists” from their Laodicean hiding places then up and out of the cult, then with his spiritual saber rattling, thus scaring off those who do not accept his traditional and absolutist interpretation of EGW’s vitriol.

For example, no real Adventist would question his decision to carpet bomb the world with 7-8 billion copies of TGC.



i attended three SDA colleges as a kid (one was AU), and i don’t recall meeting, much less talking to, any of these colleges’ Presidents or senior Pastors, or even knowing who they were…i certainly wouldn’t have been able to name any of their priorities, or characterize their agendas…

i suspect the kids going to AU now will have the same experience…their lives next year will be the same as they’ve been this past year…and when they leave, they’ll remember their friends, and perhaps their favourite teachers, and their lives will unfold completely according to their own choosing…

all the angst and doomsday forbodings in these comments are entirely misplaced in my view…but they are entertaining to read… :slightly_smiling_face:


But then again-and just like when you were a kid in school-you didn’t know TW, either, so most likely your Pollyanna view is entirely misplaced, particularly given that SDA-ism is, at its heart, an “End Times” (read “doomsday”) cult, now headed up by a man who, based on his actions and his rhetoric, is a devotee of LGT.

For my part, I hope he’s read EGW’s tea leaves correctly and Jesus will return any day now to take all of his misanthropic followers off-planet to dwell in some deeply distant heaven.

So yeah, I guess you’re right, I’m still a “lower case” adventist, of sorts.



Wilson might be Triadelphia’s most famous member. He’d probably stroke out attending Brinklow because the music is fantastic—but because they are Christians he would stil be welcome. I’m sure the medics in the congregation would care for him, the rest would pray, and the full band would offer one of David’s healing psalms to minister to his troubled heart.

Anyone who looks at a list of churches in this area and toured a sample would see that this denominational community really is both astonishingly diverse and a culture all its own. You can have the subculture of your choosing here. It’s not like being LDS and assigned to a ward based on your zip code.

I can truly see the merits of both approaches but in the end am glad neither I nor Wilson have to navigate moral distress every single Sabbath because we can go, and not go, where we want.