1876  — 1959

Alan S. Moore Anderson


English Presbyterian missionary to China, Malaysia, and Singapore.

From a family background which included Anglican, Presbyterians, Brethren, and the Society of Friends, Anderson’s Christian commitment developed at Moody’s visit over a decade before. Anderson heard J. R. Mott in 1896 and a year later was certain of his call to ministry, overseas mission, and teaching. He trained in London and at Westminster College, Cambridge, and was ordained in 1902. He began a lifetime of school-building in Chuanchow (Chin-Chew) in Amoy in 1904, naming the school he founded after Westminster College.

Anderson was transferred to Singapore in 1931. He was shameless in soliciting money for Singapore schools, especially from former Chuanchow pupils around Southeast Asia. At age 65, he went on furlough to South Africa in the summer of 1941. Following the Japanese invasion, he remained in Africa raising money for China but failed in an attempt to get back there from India. He returned to Singapore in 1946 and spent his retirement in Katong and then Muar. Anderson never married. He had a strong devotional life, a sense of humor, and gifts of personal evangelism; something of a poet, he accumulated a proverbial collection of puzzles, which he used to strike up conversations with young people. His keen strategic sense of mission included committing his personal funds to obtaining land for church development.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Anderson, Alan S. Moore, Random Reminiscences (ca. 1956).
  • Band, Edward, Working His Purpose Out: The History of the English Presbyterian Mission, 1847-1947 (1948).
  • Henderson, John, “The Service in Malaya and Singapore of the Reverend Alan S. Moore Anderson,” The Presbyterian Church in Singapore and Malaysia. 90th Anniversary of the Church and 70th Anniversary of the Synod, Commemoration Volume (1970).

About the Author

John Roxborogh

Head, Department of Mission Studies, Bible College of New Zealand, Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand