“The start of the AIDS crisis created deadly problems the public chose to ignore for several years. But one man, episcopal priest Jerry Anderson, recognized early on the dangerous world in which gay men were living. He fought battles for those who were so ill they could not fight for themselves. By his efforts and with his enduring spirit, he stood by those who were sick and those who died. In his new book he takes us through his own life experiences, growing up in a conservative religious environment, coming out as a gay man, his struggles with alcoholism, the loss of friends and lovers, and ultimately to a place of healing and a new beginning. A courageous and painfully honest account of one man’s life as a priest during a perilous time in our history.”
DIANE REHM, Former Host and Executive Producer, The Diane Rehm Show WAMU/NPR

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“This son of a Pentecostal coal miner becomes an AIDS chaplain and along this uplifting journey discovers (and is sustained by) “angels” (a talk show host, recovering alcoholics, generous donors, and even a First Lady) – and becomes an angel himself to those leveled by this virus. I guess it takes one to know one. His gracious and generous life intersects gender, race, orientation, and well, all of us. It is as much a memoir of the turbulent late 20th century as it is a memoir of his moving, personal journey. I loved it!”
Bishop Gene Robinson

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“In the fall of 1986 I was sent to a room at George Washington University Hospital to meet my newly assigned ‘buddy.’ I was a very untested volunteer with the Whitman-Walker Clinic assigned to be a supportive presence for someone living with AIDS. That is how I met Logan Sallada. And across his hospital bed that day I also met Father Jerry Anderson. Jerry, while a best friend of Logan’s, also introduced himself as an AIDS Chaplain. What was an AIDS Chaplain? Jerry showed me. And he showed the seminarians at Wesley Theological Seminary how to live out the promise from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans that nothing in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God.“
The Reverend Dr. Chip Aldridge, Associate Dean for Admissions, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.

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“Father Anderson takes us back to a bleak time, the years of suffering and death ushered into history by the AIDS virus. This compelling memoir reminds us of the triumph of light over darkness as his ministry of love brought spiritual healing to those afflicted and to those who cared for them.”
Don Chamblee, a long-time member of the Gay Men’s Counseling Community in Washington, D.C.

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“With courage one seldom sees, Father Anderson stood in the front of the line with an attitude that ‘you have to shoot me first.’ When the darkness was overwhelming, he quietly held your hand. When no one else would touch you, he would anoint your head with oil. He embodied the courage that we needed so desperately to show that someone cared.”
Matthew McGarvey, former board member of The Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS, Inc.

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“God certainly blessed all of us who have had the Reverend Canon Jerry Anderson as part of our lives. And now through the words of his book, his readers will also be blessed. Jerry is a wonderful priest, a loving pastor and a caring human being. His work with HIV-AIDS, which began during the time most people were too scared to reach out to the individuals suffering from the disease, was filled with loving compassion that was a wonder to behold. Jerry brought peace and a touching love to those who many thought to be untouchable. I was privileged to make pastoral calls with Jerry, learning and developing pastoral skills which I have utilized for many years in my own ministry.”
The Reverend N. Jean Rogers, an Episcopal Priest

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“Jerry Anderson and his mission of creating The Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS (ECRA) in Washington, D.C. was a light of hope in what was a dark and troubled time for those with AIDS, their families and friends, and the church community. Jerry’s leadership made it happen and gave strength to the weak-hearted and clarity to those confused about what the Christian response to the epidemic should be. He did all of this with grace and humor and a caring smile, attributes that come through in this personal story of his life and ministry with all of their challenges and successes.”
Trevor Potter, Esquire, former legal counsel to The Episcopal Caring Response To AIDS, Inc.

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“I am sure Jerry knows exactly where his extraordinary courage comes from (a relative in Southern Illinois I am almost certain), but I have found it astonishing. To stand up again and again to power and power’s institutions has always left me feeling a little weak-kneed. What an inspiration to all of us who lived in closets. Jerry would never tolerate those of us who could not bear another funeral as Jerry moved passionately further into the depths of the horror of HIV AIDS.”
The Reverend Canon Skip Schueddig, Episcopal Priest

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“A brilliant rendering of how a ministry of love and compassionate care helped individuals and families cope with the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS. This memoir is enlightening, uplifting and a must read for everyone who wants to connect with Spiritual power.”
The Reverend Marilyn L. Hardy, M. Div D. Min., HIV/AIDS Prevention Educator

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“I met the Rev. Jerry Anderson while I was on the run – from God, from the Church, from myself, from life. While taking mortgage application information from Jerry, I discovered that he was an Episcopal priest, out as a gay man, and Assistant Rector at a church in Washington, D.C. During an appointment I made with him very soon thereafter, Jerry invited me to “come home.” He not only made that invitation, but he journeyed and prayed with me, mentored and encouraged me, as I worked to heal and make a home in a world and church that had persecuted me. Jerry’s profound embodiment of God’s transforming love saved and liberated me. That I am a happy and healthy lesbian woman and an Episcopal priest today is due in very large part to the extraordinary witness and ministry of Jerry Anderson.”
The Rev. Susan Anderson-Smith

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“Jerry’s memoir is a must read for all who accompany others through pain, loss, death and grief. The story of The Rev. Jerry Anderson, an Episcopal priest, who stepped boldly into the unknown chaos of the AIDS epidemic and continued time and time again to hold in the presence of God people who were suffering and dying. As a father of two sons who in 1982 was taking in an orphan boy from Haiti with cancer, I was being told by doctors at NIH that if I did so, I would be risking the lives of my other boys. The supposed carriers of AIDS then were Haitians, IV users, and homosexuals. The times were filled with the fear of the unknown. Our world needed people with faith and courage. I needed such people. I then had the privilege of working with Jerry in our parish church in Washington DC and later of observing his work in Miami and Los Angeles. At every turn, I marveled at his way with all people. His fierce compassion was contagious. Jerry is a pioneer in the church and the world – a priest and a person who lives the Gospel -a priest and a person whose story is truly inspirational.”
The Rev. Stephen R. Davenport III DD, Former rector of St. Patrick’s Church

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“Jerry’s courage and tenacity to live a life of service in the church and the world (when neither really wanted him because he was openly gay) is remarkable. It is not only a story of hope and redemption, but it is a reminder how dreadful and destructive our self-righteous institutions can be. Where many gave up on organized religion, or were rejected by the church, Jerry and many like him became agents of reformation and redemption We live in a part of the Anglican Communion where LGBT people are welcomed, share their gifts in ministry, but this is still rare. Jerry’s story is a reminder of the price some have had to pay so others can simply be respected as brothers and sisters in Christ today. His story is also a light in the distance for those who still struggle with ignorance and homophobia. Be the change you want to create. It works.”
Reverend Albert Ogle, Episcopal Priest and international advocate for gay rights

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“Jerry is one of the most gifted priests and pastors I have ever known. He served for me as a powerful role model in my “coming out process” and was a significant mentor as I journeyed toward ordained ministry. His vision and creation of the ministry “The Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS (ECRA)” in the Diocese of Washington, in a time of great oppression toward LBGT persons and particularly those with HIV/AIDS, touched countless lives and has made an indelible mark of love and compassion on all to whom he has ministered. Jerry is the true angel. His prayers, his healing presence, and his prophetic witness are gifts that I will always treasure.”
The Rev. Dr. Joan E. Beilstein

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“Jerry was so comfortable in his own gay skin as a priest, way before it became fashionable or easy to do so. I stood on the outside looking in for years as he served as Moses on the rock. Memories are short and I don’t think that his true contribution or impact will ever be fully appreciated. But he was there, and I’m guessing, at times quite alone. I won’t forget that or fail to honor it. I love him for the incredible man and priest that he is!”
Reverend John David Van Dooren

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“In the dark days of the AIDS epidemic when our bodies wasted and died Jerry Anderson held our souls and spirit to the light of God, unfalteringly reminding us we were loved, and above all not alone. More than one man ostracized by his biological family even in death died not alone but surrounded by a loving family of his brothers and sisters in Christ with Jerry leading the way.”
Bob Sheavly, Jungian Analyst

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"JERRY ANDERSON is one of the amazing and truly inspirational people I have known. And, though he'd never describe himself so, he is a genuine spiritual leader, of the most humble and necessary kind. He has always been an extraordinary priest, but the daunting scope of his work undertaken on behalf of those suffering with AIDS, or left reeling in its wake, will forever mark him as one who showed up bearing light, when the night was darkest, and kept showing up with a healer's intention, touching, loving, hearing, and generally bearing witness to those who until that time had felt irretrievably lost in shadow.

Jerry's stubborn conviction was born of his faith, and personal experience. The peculiar quality of service he provided, and kept on providing, is the truest manifestation of Grace I have ever personally witnessed. It was as if the Spirit had been preparing Jerry, over the course of a lifetime, for a spiritual opportunity from which most sane people would have run.

I met Jerry along the arc of his journey when he lit up Miami, but learned from him and others the outlines of the many years of his AIDS ministry in Washington, DC, and elsewhere. Though I did not see it at the time, he came into my life as an answer to a prayer too large to hold in mind, or certainly speak. As the "AIDS lawyer" in a Miami overwhelmed, Jerry led by example that it was indeed possible to keep rushing back into the fire, so horrid, in order to help or even save another.

In a way different than anyone else, Jerry Anderson taught me the power of Love, and redemption, and showed me that even the darkness as huge and frightening as AIDS was powerless to dim even a little the small candle of hope he nursed within his heart, and gave more than one man, unaided, can give.

The world is in a state these days, and many are suffering. Jerry Anderson's story is one involving AIDS, inevitably. But the friendly wisdom he has gained to share is indispensable reading for any of us, facing challenges seemingly larger than we are. Meaning, all of us.

You are holding in hand less an ordinary book, than a rare opportunity."

Paul Hampton Crockett, Esquire