Obituary: John Robert Anderson


John Robert Anderson, age 78, of Tiger, Georgia passed away at home on September 27, 2021.  Robert was born on September 21,1943 to the late L.B. Anderson and the late Lucille Cates Anderson in Augusta, Georgia.  

Robert earned a Master of Agriculture from the University of Georgia prior to earning a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1970.  For 26 years, he served God and his community pastoring churches in Ila, Blackshear, Donalsonville, and Swainsboro, Georgia.   Following his pastorate, he worked for the Georgia Baptist Convention in the areas of prayer, evangelization, and church-minister relations, supporting pastors throughout Georgia for the next 21 years.  In 2017, Robert and Sybil moved to Rabun County to be closer to family and enjoy grandchildren.  Over the last 4 years, he greatly enjoyed creating relationships within the community and loved supporting the ministries at Clayton Baptist Church. 

Raised as a son of a dairyman, Robert always found great pleasure working outside tending to his gardens and cultivating the land.  He loved to watch plants thrive when they were in just the right spot.  In similar ways, Robert cultivated those around him, tending to people who crossed his path, from family members to casual acquaintances, always seeking to point them to Christ. One of his great delights was to be present for people in crisis, often driving many hours just to pray before a surgery, or be in the room as a loved one received hard news, or hold the hand of the dying.  He loved relationships and worked tirelessly to embody the love of Christ to all.  

Robert loved his family and most of all his wife Sybil.  Married for 53 years, she was the love of his life.  Even with all the responsibilities he had ministering in churches and later to pastors throughout the years, Robert always made time for his family.  As spouses and grandchildren and great-grandchildren came along, he cultivated and tended those relationships, looking for the natural “bent” in each and seeking to connect, always looking for ways to show the love of Christ to each.   

Robert lived, breathed and walked daily in prayer.  He spent many hours praying for his family, friends, friends of friends, needs within churches, pastors, and the needs of the world.  He prayer walked communities, building relationships along the way which resulted in prayer groups that met throughout the years.  He was a man of prayer.  After the return of his cancer in May, he asked the Lord how to pray and was given the phrase, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done”.  Most of his prayers from that point on ended this way.

Robert is survived by his loving wife, Sybil Anderson; daughter Marla Thompson (Joey) of Tiger, his son Wade Anderson (Rachel), of Lookout Mountain, Georgia and his daughter LaNell Rakness (Ryan), of Charlottesville, Virginia; one brother, The Honorable Lee Anderson (Donna), of Harlem, Georgia; two sisters, Genie Stone (Vernon), of Baxley, Georgia, and Ina Prescott (Richard), of Wrens, Georgia; eleven grandchildren, Shayla Anderson Jones (Kam), Grace Thompson Bass (Gabe), Aaron Thompson, Hannah Thompson, Luke Thompson, Judd Anderson, Georgia Mae Anderson, Will Rakness, Ellison Rakness, Riley Rakness, and Hollins Rakness; two great-grandchildren, Jaden Jones and Jordon Jones. 

The family will receive friends on Sunday, October 3rd from 3-5pm at the Beck Funeral Home in Clayton, Georgia.  A funeral service will be held on Monday, October 4th, at 11am at the Clayton Baptist Church in Clayton, Georgia.  The Rev. Joey Thompson and Rev. Tony Dye will officiate the service.  The interment will take place at the Bellevue Memorial Garden 4501 Wrightsboro Rd, Grovetown, GA 30813 on Monday, October 4th at 4pm. 

Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia is in charge of the arrangements.  If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599.  An online Memorial Register Book is available at

Georgia Baptist Mission Board, ministry leader, obituary, prayer, Robert Anderson


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