Doug & Debbie Anderson
Yes, this picture is real. Pastor Doug is one of our co-pastors and he and his wife Debbie are parents to all 16 kids shown. Their daughter-in-law "Grace" is also shown and their son-in-law, "David." The young boy in their daughter Christy's arms in "Macaiah." or as Doug and Debbie say, "Our first grandson." Pastor Doug serves as our founding pastor. He and his wife, Debbie, have sixteen children with some grown and married and others still in elementary school and about. They even have a grandson.
The Anderson's love Colorado Springs and are thankful to live in such in such an incredible place. Doug was raised on the prairie in Colorado near what is now Parker, Colo. Debbie grew up in Wilmore, KY, where her dad served at Asbury College and later Asbury Seminary. Even though Debbie grew up in Kentucky, she longed to live in Colorado and God granted her dream. After high school, Doug attended Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. Later, he joined the army and served as a commando in the 10th Mountain Division. After the army, Doug earned a Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary. He later earned a Certificate in Advanced Church Leadership through the Beeson Institute and completed his coursework for his doctorate in church leadership through Asbury Seminary. After a traumatic brain injury in Africa, Doug chose not to finish his dissertation and to just focus on his recovery.
Doug and Debbie were married in 1992 in Wilmore, KY. Soon after getting married, they entered “professional ministry” with Doug serving as the youth minister at a local church while he worked on his master’s degree. Debbie had already earned her BA from Asbury College and MA from Asbury Seminary. In 1995, Debbie became pregnant with the Anderson’s first child, Josh, and while pregnant Doug and Debbie moved to New York state to pastor a church in the Binghamton area (city in upstate New York). The church the Andersons arrived to lead in New York was just steps away from closing. It was more than 100 years old, had about 65 people, and was known for infighting, legalism, and had a long history of pastors leaving every few years. About 25 of the people from the church actually stuck with the new direction of the church as the Anderson’s set about to try to revitalize the old ministry. Still, God started blessing! The church grew and grew! It quickly became the fastest growing church in the United States in that denomination. After multiple building and expansion projects, Doug sustained a massive head injury while doing mission work in Africa. Doug knew it was time to resign from his role in New York and recover, but he stuck with the New York church for another eight months — not a great choice. Finally, he stepped aside and focused on healing from his injuries and preparing to plant churches.
New York had been a happy time for the Andersons. Four of their children were born during those years (Josh, Christy, Caleb, and Josiah). They had so many friends and to this day love keeping in touch with the church family. Upstate New York has beautiful wilderness areas that the Andersons cherished — especially in the fall. Still, leaving was not just a time to say “goodbye,” it was also a new beginning. Doug had allowed himself to get too busy. The church had grown to five services a weekend in a large facility. Doug also served as a district leader in the organization, worked on his doctorate, was sought after around the country to teach on church growth, taught a bit as an adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary, and did not have the time he desired to just love the Lord, love people, and love his family.
The Anderson's moved to Colorado and Doug's focused for a time on healing from his head injury, but recovery was slow. Head injuries look fine, but the brain battles back very gradually. Still, soon Doug was back at it, planting another church for the organization they were affiliated with. The church they planted is still doing fine. However, Doug felt a real calling to serve in a less restrictive role than the organization he was with afforded. Doug’s real passion is the urban environment.
In 2008, Doug and Debbie felt it was time to answer the call to start Restoring Hope Church in Colorado Springs as an independent church. Restoring Hope is a church that focuses on relationships, being real, and allowing people to experience God and grow in Him. Further, Doug felt called to spend more time with his family and kids. In the first months after starting Restoring Hope both Doug and Debbie worked at Young Life to support their calling to start the ministry. Fortunately, it was not long and Doug was able to quit Young Life and focus on being a pastor full-time again. Debbie continued at Young Life and seems to have really settled into her special gifting. She works at the Service Center for Young Life in Creative Services.
The Anderson's had interest in foster care for years. Eventually, they took the plunge and began taking children into their home. In 2009, the first kids came to live at the Anderson's. In 2011 they adopted 4 of their foster kids. The Anderson's continued to take in various foster children and in time they had become a family of two parents and sixteen kids. Recently, they made the decision to begin winding down the foster care years and are ending that stage of their life. They continue to seek to serve the foster community and often help out with various local foster needs. They especially enjoy helping an organization called “Fostering Hope,” which serves foster families and an agency called "Bethany Christian Services." They have helped raise funds for various groups such as "The Adoption Exchange," "CASA," and "Royal Family Kids Camp."
The Andersons are a busy crew. They seem to like to have their hands into about all that Colorado life offers. They hike, camp, hunt, boat, and in general, love the outdoors. Doug was an avid skier when younger and still loves the outdoors in the winter. Doug has had various major injuries, so he lives with pins in his neck, back, and foot which slow him down a bit — the excuse he uses when his kids hike the incline faster. After Doug’s back was fused, he was able to run the sprint triathlon six months later, so his health has not slowed him down too much. Debbie wishes he was still training at that level; Doug just says he is more “well rounded” — out in front, that is.
Besides church activities, the Anderson's spend lots of time watching their kids events from drama to sports to musicals. It seems like some sport event occurs every weekend and many evenings. They also love watching other kids’ games from the church from time to time, and if it is Sunday afternoon, you probably won’t find Doug and the boys too far from a TV enjoying a Broncos’ game. Pets are also a huge part of the Anderson family. Dogs, dogs, dogs — they love them! Caleb (one of their sons) once said, “You can never have enough dogs.” The Andersons are animal
The Anderson's love the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and animal events in general. They spend a fair amount of time at the dog park, attend rodeos most years, and try to just laugh often. Pastor Doug and Debbie both love to read. Doug is a news junkie — he reads five newspapers most days and tries to read several books a month. Doug continues to attend seminars, but he is not taking many speaking requests anymore. He is just at a stage that he loves hanging with his family, the church family, and other friends in the Springs. Besides, one can only travel so much, and Doug enjoys camping with his family and friends much more than traveling to speak. If you have not met the Anderson's, know they are very approachable and are passionate about people They relish going out for coffee with new friends, laughing and building friendships.