Clarence E. Anderson entered the Church Triumphant on June 24, 2001. Clarence was a long-time member of St. Matthew’s, Glendale while also being a strong supporter of St. Matthew’s, North Hollywood. A gay man, Clarence had felt the sting of exclusion, prejudice and condemnation throughout his life. Thanks to the ministries of Bishop. J. Roger Anderson and Pastor Dwight Johnson, Clarence was brought back into the church via the work of Lutherans Concerned – Los Angeles (SoCalLutherans.com – the Los Angeles Chapter of ReconcilingWorks). Clarence lived a simple life of quiet generosity while amassing a substantial fortune throughout his life. At the time of his passing, Clarence left nearly the entirety of his estate to a variety of Lutheran congregations and agencies as well as organizations committed to the struggle for the full-inclusion of gay and lesbian persons within the church and the society at large. In honor of Clarence’ commitment to the work of peace and justice, the Synod Council of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in conjunction with Lutherans Concerned – Los Angeles created “The Clarence E. Anderson Peace and Justice Award.” (herein referred to as “The Anderson Award”).
The 2017 Clarence E. Anderson Peace and Justice Award is given, posthumously, to our “Faithful and Fabulous Female Forerunners,” brave women allies who advocated for LGBT equality in the church at a time when such advocacy was not always met with widespread acceptance. They are:
- Mabel Dilley (St. Matthew’s, North Hollywood)
- Pastor Carol Nolte (St. Andrew’s, Los Angeles)
- Barbara Price, (Assistant to the Bishop – Southwest California Synod, ELCA)
- Susan Tapia (Hollywood, Hollywood)
- Pastor Susan Wolfe Devol (St. Matthew’s, North Hollywood)