Reverend Danita Anderson

Lead Pastor

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Rev. Danita Anderson was was appointed to Woodridge United Methodist Church as Lead Pastor on July 1st, 2014.  

Rev.Danita Anderson has been a part of the Methodist now United Methodist Church almost all of her life.  She was ordained a deacon in 1983 and elder in 1985 and has served the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church in pastoral ministry since being a student in 1980.  She served the Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta Georgia as a student pastor for 3 years and upon her leaving had created a position for their first full time associate pastor. She was an associate pastor of the St. Mark United Methodist Church in Chicago for 3 years; pastor of the Neighborhood United Methodist Church in Maywood for 4 years; and as the pastor of the Ingleside-Whitfield United Methodist Church in Chicago for 7 years. 

On July 1st, 1997, she was appointed as the senior pastor of the Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church in Aurora, Illinois, which is a predominantly Anglo congregation. She was the first African American clergywoman to serve as the senior pastor of a multiple staff congregation in the Northern Illinois Conference. She, of course was the first woman and African American to serve as senior pastor of Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church. 

On July 1st, 2001 she was appointed as the 1st African American woman superintendent of the Aurora District and the 2nd African American  woman superintendent in the Northern Illinois Conference.  In this responsibility, she provided supervision and oversight to over 80 clergypersons and 65 congregations, which included 61 Anglo, 1 Hispanic, 1 South Asian and 2 Korean congregations.  Upon leaving her duties as Aurora District Superintendent in June of 2008, Danita was appointed as the first African American woman pastor of the St. Thomas United Methodist Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.  As of this year, 2012, Danita was appointed to the St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Homewood, beginning her 16th year in a cross racial/cross-cultural appointment (including her appointment as district superintendent).

She has a Master's of Divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary (1983) in Atlanta, Georgia with a concentration in Worship and the Arts and a minor in Pastoral Counseling.  Danita is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Gammon Seminary and was awarded their Distinguished Alumnae Award in 2000.  She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Chicago State University (1978). She was able to use her undergraduate experience in service as the chairperson of the Northern Illinois Conference Council on Finance and Administration from 1992 through 1995.  (She was the first Black clergywoman in the country to chair this committee.)  She has served on various district and conference wide committees. She currently serves as vice chair of the Northern Illinois Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. She is a life member of Chicago Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) and secretary of National BMCR’s Board of Directors.
Danita is currently the Chaplain of the Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She also previously served as the chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Chatham/Avalon Park unit of the American Cancer Society and as a volunteer chaplain at Westlake Hospital of Melrose Park.

She has led workshops across the country and in the Bahamas on stewardship, finance and money management, risk taking for women, as well as Christian education and various Bible studies.  She has been the preacher for and taught at the United Methodist Women’s School of Christian Missions twice.  Her travels have included most of the United States, Israel, Switzerland, Bahamas, 2 trips to Angola, Africa and the Dominican Republic.

Her greatest love is God's work in and through the church, especially preaching and teaching. She loves the Lord and is not ashamed to let the world know it!

You can follow Pastor Danita on Twitter @revdanitaruth or read her blog posts here.