Carl Dicmann Anderson

Photo couresty of Oakwood University Archives.

Anderson, Carl Dicmann (1912–1998)

By Samuel London

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Samuel London, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama. He is the director of the Oakwood Office for the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. London wrote the book Seventh-day Adventists and the Civil Rights Movement (University Press of Mississippi, 2010). Samuel and his wife Laura reside in Priceville, Alabama.

Carl D. Anderson was a distinguished scholar and advocate of Seventh-day Adventist education who served as the head of the History Department at Oakwood College from 1969 to 1975.

Carl Dicmann Anderson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 2, 1912, to Nels Dicmann (1876–1942) and Jennie Freund Anderson (1879–1949). His father, an immigrant from Denmark, served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army and later worked as a traveling salesman and editorialist for Signs of the Times. His mother, an immigrant from Austria, worked as a nurse and housekeeper.1 Carl’s childhood was spent in Maryland, Georgia, and northern California. His elementary education was obtained primarily in Adventist schools located in San Francisco, California, as well as Rome and Douglasville, Georgia.2 In 1929 he graduated from San Francisco’s Lowell High School, the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi.3

For a year Carl worked as a stock clerk before enrolling in Pacific Union College (PUC) in 1931.4 He graduated in 1934 with a bachelor’s degree in theology.5 In 1936 Anderson took one year of advanced ministerial studies at PUC.6 In 1955 he entered the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he earned his master’s degree in 1957.7 From 1958 to 1960 Anderson attended American University, where he earned his PhD in history.8 His dissertation was titled “The History and Evolution of Seventh-day Adventist Church Organization.” On August 30, 1936, Carl Anderson married Bessie Lois Crane (1903–1990) at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, California. To that union was born Don Dicmann and Jean. Following the death of his first wife, he married Lois Mildred Ferren (1914–2001) on October 20, 1990, at the Yountville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Yountville, California.

In 1934 and 1935 Anderson worked as a ministerial intern with the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.9 In 1936 he served for nine months as a church school principal in the Texas Conference.10 From 1937 to 1948 Anderson was employed as a church school principal, librarian, and teacher (providing instruction in physical education, English, and Spanish) for the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.11 From 1949 to 1955 he worked as a church school teacher (providing instruction in history, physical education, English, and Spanish) for the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.12 In 1956 and 1957 Anderson served as a part-time editor at the Home Study Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.13 From 1957 to 1964, he was a professor (teaching English and history) at Canadian Union College.14 In 1965 he taught at Columbia Union College, and the following year he taught at Indiana Academy.15 Then, in 1967 and 1968, he taught history at Andrews University Academy.16 From 1969 to 1975,. Anderson headed the Department of History at Oakwood College.17 Prior to this appointment, he produced a 453-page world history textbook titled The Ancient World, first published in 1967 and revised in 1973. This book correlated secular and biblical history with the writings of Ellen G. White. The volume covered the time span from Creation to the seventh century A.D.18 Anderson designed this text to be used in Adventist high schools and colleges. His next book, Crisis in Seventh-day Adventist Education, was published in 1975. This volume identified six crisis points in the history of Adventist education.

  • The closing of Battle Creek College arising from criticisms directed at the institution including the ridicule of Ellen G. White’s writings, a student movement against manual training, and the instituting of a sports program

  • The influence of pantheism as introduced by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

  • The trap of regional accreditation placing Adventist schools under the control of secular entities

  • Accepting federal funds, which necessitated the hiring of non-Adventists in denominational schools

  • The enticement of Adventist educators into labor unions

  • The myriad of complex problems resulting from compromising the principles of God’s Word and the counsels of Ellen G. White

Anderson argued that this last crisis point could be resolved only through revival and reformation.19

In 1974 Anderson gave a talk titled “God’s Plan of Education” at a conference held at Pine Forest Academy, in Chunky, Mississippi. In his presentation he lauded the patriarchal system, the symbolic education of the sanctuary, and the schools of the prophets as ideal methods of godly education. Conversely, he criticized the rabbinical schools for losing their identity and purpose—through formalism and tradition. In examining the Adventist school system, he pointed to 26 principles expounded in the writings of Ellen G. White that exemplify true education. Among these principles are the following.

  • The same strict guidelines applied in the selection of ministers must be used in the hiring of teachers.

  • Students should be taught a trade.

  • The study of agriculture is an essential element in education.

  • Non-Adventist instructors should not be hired to work in our church schools.

  • The educational curriculum of Adventist schools must be simplified.

  • The writings of infidel authors are to be discarded.

  • Theatrical performances are to be avoided.

  • The playing of sports is nonessential and should be replaced with manual labor.20

The following year, Anderson wrote an article titled “The Shaking Time: In Relation to the Science of Education.” In this piece he discussed the Laodicean condition of the church and the need for Adventist educators to understand the “true science of education.” Rather than retreating to the secular standards of education, Christian teachers need to uphold the principles of true education as espoused in the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. It is the proclamation of the truth that will result in the shaking time. Consequently, Adventist educators must acquaint themselves with the true system of education, so that they will be effective instruments in proclaiming the truth of God’s Word.21

From 1975 to 1979 Anderson served as the educational coordinator for the advanced training program for self-supporting workers at Laurelbrook in Dayton, Tennessee. This was a college-level internship program designed to facilitate missionary service in the fields of education and ministry.22 From 1979 to 1981 Anderson was employed with the British Columbia Conference as the pastor of the Duncan Seventh-day Adventist Church on Vancouver Island.23 In 1981 he moved to northern California and taught some classes at the Weimar Institute.

In the mid to late 1980s. Anderson retired and moved into an assisted living community in the Napa Valley of California. Carl Dicmann Anderson died on May 30, 1998, in Napa, California. He was 86 years old.

Carl Dicmann Anderson will be remembered as an enthusiastic and outspoken proponent of Seventh-day Adventist education who devoted much of his adult life teaching at every level of the denominational school system. He was a skilled administrator who at various times in his career served as a principal, department head, and pastor. He was also a respected scholar who authored books and a myriad of articles on history, pastoral ministry, and Christian education. Periodicals featuring Anderson’s writings include the Youth’s Instructor, Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, Pacific Union Recorder, Lake Union Herald, Canadian Union Messenger, The Journal of True Education, and Ministry magazine.

Sources

Anderson, Carl. “Dr. Carl Anderson, Dayton, TN.” Madison Survey, March 1978.

Anderson, Carl D. “Advanced Training Program for Self-supporting Workers at Laurelbrook, Dayton, TN,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 58, no. 1 (March 1976).

———. “Crisis in SDA Education.” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 57, no. 1 (March 1975).

———. “Dr. Carl D. Anderson, Duncan, B.C., Canada.” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 6, no. 12 (December 1979).

———. “God’s Plan of Education.” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 56, no. 4 (December 1974).

———. “Hollister.” Pacific Union Recorder 33, no. 52 (July 25, 1934).

———. “Indiana Academy Commencement Exercises.” Lake Union Herald 58, no. 20 (May 17, 1966).

———. “Santa Rosa District.” Pacific Union Recorder 45, no. 6 (September 12, 1945).

———. “Taft.” Pacific Union Recorder 34, no. 37 (April 10, 1935).

———. “The Shaking Time: In Relation to the Science of Education.” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 57, no. 3 (September 1975).

California. San Francisco County. 1930 United States Census. Digital images. Ancestry.com. Accessed November 12, 2018. http://ancestry.com.

“For Sale.” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 57, no. 2 (June 1975).

Georgia. Rome/Lloyd County. 1920 United States Census. Digital images. Ancestry.com. Accessed November 12, 2018. http://ancestry.com.

“Jennie Anderson obituary.” Pacific Union Recorder 48, no. 38 (April 25, 1949).

Klam, Carl. “A Canada First.” Lake Union Herald 50, no. 18 (May 6, 1958).

“New Faculty Appointments Announced for Next Year.” Columbia Union Visitor 69, no. 26 (June 25, 1964).

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947–1975.

Notes

  1. 1920 United States Census, Rome/Lloyd County, Georgia, enumeration district 85, “Nels Anderson,”

    Ancestry.com, accessed November 12, 2018, http://ancestry.com. See also 1930 United States Census, San Francisco County, California, enumeration district 6, “Nels Anderson,” Ancestry.com, accessed November 12, 2018, http://ancestry.com; “Jennie Anderson obituary,” Pacific Union Recorder 48, no. 38 (April 25, 1949): 13.

  2. Carl Anderson, “Dr. Carl Anderson, Dayton, TN,” Madison Survey, March 1978, 4.

  3. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record, no. 10264, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

  4. 1930 United States Census, San Francisco County, California, enumeration district 6, “Carl Anderson,” Ancestry.com, accessed November 12, 2018, http://ancestry.com.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Ibid. See also “New Faculty Appointments Announced for Next Year,” Columbia Union Visitor 69, no. 26 (June 25, 1964): 9.

  9. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record. See also Carl D. Anderson, “Taft,” Pacific Union Recorder 34, no. 37 (April 10, 1935): 6; Carl D. Anderson, “Hollister,” Pacific Union Recorder 33, no. 52 (July 25, 1934): 8.

  10. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record.

  11. Ibid. See also Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947), 58; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1948), 225; Carl D. Anderson, “Santa Rosa District,” Pacific Union Recorder 45, no. 6 (September 12, 1945): 4.

  12. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record. See also Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1949), 57, 240; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950), 59, 275; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1951), 264; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1952), 253; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1953), 259; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1954), 269; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1955), 221.

  13. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record.

  14. Ibid. See also Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 211; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1959), 218; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1960), 225; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1961), 231; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1962), 241; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1963), 265; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1964), 277; Carl Klam, “A Canada First,” Lake Union Herald 50, no. 18 (May 6, 1958): 2.

  15. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record. See also Carl D. Anderson, “Indiana Academy Commencement Exercises,” Lake Union Herald 58, no. 20 (May 17, 1966): 7.

  16. Ibid. See also Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1967), 276; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1968), 282.

  17. Carl Dicmann Anderson, Personal Service Record. See also Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1969), 341; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1970), 351; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1971), 361; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1972), 330; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1973/74), 331; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1975), 336.

  18. “For Sale,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 57, no. 2 (June 1975): 3.

  19. Carl D. Anderson, “Crisis in SDA Education,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 57, no. 1 (March 1975): 1, 2.

  20. Carl D. Anderson, “God’s Plan of Education,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 56, no. 4 (December 1974): 2, 3.

  21. Carl D. Anderson, “The Shaking Time: In Relation to the Science of Education,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 57, no. 3 (September 1975): 9.

  22. Carl D. Anderson, “Dr. Carl D. Anderson, Duncan, B.C., Canada,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 6, no. 12 (December 1979): 5. See also Carl D. Anderson, “Advanced Training Program for Self-supporting Workers at Laurelbrook, Dayton, TN,” The Madison Survey and Alumni News 58, no. 1 (March 1976): 2.

  23. Carl D. Anderson, “Dr. Carl D. Anderson, Duncan, B.C., Canada.”

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London, Samuel. "Anderson, Carl Dicmann (1912–1998)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 21, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4HY6.

London, Samuel. "Anderson, Carl Dicmann (1912–1998)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4HY6.

London, Samuel (2021, April 28). Anderson, Carl Dicmann (1912–1998). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4HY6.