Our Pastor

Reverend Dr. Karen Denise Anderson

The Reverend Dr. Karen Denise Anderson is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and pastor of First AME Las Vegas Church in Las Vegas, NV.  She is actively engaged in the AME Church serving on the Conference Trustees, Finance Committee, and Board of Examiners.  She is the Secretary for 5th Episcopal District Women in Ministry (WIM).     

Rev. Anderson has previously been engaged in the St. Louis community serving as Board President of Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) an affiliate of the Gamaliel Network. MCU brings together religious congregations, community groups, and individuals to create a better life for all residents. While many task forces have been birthed from MCU, the most visible under the leadership of Rev. Anderson is the Education Task Force’s Pathway to Power campaign to end the school to prison pipeline and work around Integrated Voter Engagement.

Rev. Anderson serves as a Cabinet member of Interfaith Partnership of St. Louis, which provides a timely voice on public issues from the religious community.  She has also served on the board of Magdalene St. Louis, a residential community for women survivors of sexual exploitation, violence and addiction.

Within the Hazelwood community, she co-chairs the Hazelwood School District’s Clergy Coalition and helped start the Hazelwood Heroes program, a mentoring opportunity for parents and community members.  She also served on the advisory board for Hazelwood School District’s Bright Futures Program, was a charter member of the Leadership Council of FLOURISH St. Louis, working to decrease infant mortality in St. Louis and member of CAP (Community Against Poverty).

She co-founded “When Women Gather…” an ecumenical bible study for women as well as “The Mother’s March” which was actively engaged in the fight for justice in Ferguson and St. Louis.  She has been present on the streets of St. Louis providing leadership during times of protest and was a featured speaker during the 2018 Women’s March in St. Louis.  She says that activism found her after the death of Michael Brown in 2014 when she engaged in protests against racism and the systemic injustices which plague our community.  She found inspiration in the words of Frederick Douglas who said, “I prayed for 20 years but received no answer until I prayed with my feet.”  She believes that social engagement and activism is the work referenced by the Prophet Micah instructing us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”
            Rev. Anderson was honored as a 2018 Woman of Achievement, has been featured in the 2013 issue of Who’s Who in Black St. Louis and recognized by the St. Louis Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women among other awards.

She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Theta Phi International Honor Society for Theological Education.  She is a sought-after speaker often volunteering her time to speak to various groups on issues of justice and women’s rights.

She is happily married to Joseph and considers their 3 adult children and 5 beautiful grandchildren as her greatest accomplishment.  Rev. Anderson has a genuine love for God’s people but is especially passionate about women’s empowerment.  She believes she’s been called to share the liberating love of God with all people as expressed in Romans 8:38-39.
            Rev. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Webster University, St. Louis, a Master of Divinity, with emphasis in Pastoral Care and Counseling, degree from Turner Theological Seminary at the I.T.C. in Atlanta, GA and has recieved her Doctorate of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio. Prior to ministry she spent more than 23 years in nursing and healthcare administration.