Rev. Dr. Donnie Anderson 

 The Rev. Dr. Donnie Anderson


The Rev. Dr. Donnie Anderson currently serves as the interim minister of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in New Bedford, MA, a keynote speaker, workshop leader, social justice advocate and the moderator of A Transgender Community for All found at

Raised in Cranston, Rhode Island, Dr. Anderson enjoys the many wonderful facets of living in Southern New England. She is an ordained minister, educator, counselor, keynote speaker, workshop leader and social activist. She received her Bachelor degree in Business Education from Barrington College in Barrington, RI, a Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College in Providence, RI, a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eastern Baptist Seminary in Philadelphia, PA as well as a number of other graduate courses in business and religious studies.

Dr. Anderson lives in Providence, RI. At age 69 she came out of the closet, sharing with her family and the world that she is a transgender woman. Anderson shared, “For years my fantasy was to preach openly in a pink clergy shirt, fully expressing the fact that I am a woman. That fantasy is now my REALITY.”

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community that has known historic and current exclusion and outright hatred and discrimination by many societal structures – including the church -- it is wonderful to simply live out Jesus’ gospel of inclusion on a daily basis, face to face and heart to heart.” Anderson continues, “everyone needs to know that they are loved by God, but many are told that they have to make the false choice between being who they authentically are OR being a person of faith. That choice is not only false, it is in direct contradiction to Biblical teaching and Jesus’ own example of God’s inclusive love for all persons.” Anderson enjoys the opportunity to present conversations on the intersection of transgender and faith. She is also active in social justice issues in the areas of race, poverty and gender.

She is active nationally serving on boards and committees including board member of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, one of the co-convenors of the Jewish/Christian Dialogue sponsored by the National Council of Synagogues and the National Council of Churches and serves on the national Diversity Advisory Work Group for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care.

Formerly, Dr. Anderson served as Executive Minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches (RISCC) and the Rhode Island Bible Society for almost 13 years, comprised of churches from 11 Protestant denominations, numerous other local congregations working in partnership with several affiliated Muslim and Jewish organizations. Previously she has severed congregations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island as pastor. In addition, she has served in executive positions in religiously affiliated organizations in higher education, publishing and camping and conferencing.

Dr. Anderson can be reached by phone at 401-578-0388 or email at