Ann Kiemel Anderson was a popular religious speaker and author who sold over 28 million copies of her books. She was known for her soft voice, strong faith, and courageous attitude towards life’s challenges. She died on March 1, 2014, from cancer, leaving behind four sons and a twin sister.
Early Life and Career
Ann Kiemel was born on September 22, 1945, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to missionary parents. She grew up in Hawaii and attended Northwest Nazarene University, where she graduated with a degree in education. She moved to Kansas City to teach and drove a bus full of people to church every Sunday. She then moved to Long Beach, California, to work as a youth director and later became the dean of women at the Eastern Nazarene College in Boston. According to Wikipedia, she said that her trust in God helped her in these roles, and that she never sought them, but was asked to take them.
She became one of America’s most sought-after inspirational speakers, traveling across the country and abroad to share her message of Christianity and love. She also became a marathon runner, participating in two Boston Marathons and two Israel Marathons near the Sea of Galilee. Her speeches influenced many of the athletes that she met.
She wrote 18 books, with her first seven being bestsellers in the inspirational genre. Some of her titles include Hi! I’m Ann, I’m Out to Change My World, I Love the Word Impossible, Taste of Tears, Touch of God, and Seduced by Success: No Longer Addicted to Pills, Performance, and Praise. A film based on her life, titled Hi, I’m Ann, was released in 1980.
Personal Life and Struggles
Ann Kiemel married Will Anderson in 1981 and they lived in Idaho, later moving to Chicago, Illinois. They adopted four baby boys from four different mothers, and Ann said that she loved them as if they were her own flesh and blood. She also suffered from multiple miscarriages and infertility, which she openly and bravely shared with her audiences. She said that she learned to make sorrow her friend and to trust God in all circumstances.
In 1996, she spent 25 days in a chemical dependency wing of a hospital due to her painkiller addiction, which was caused by her medical issues and her husband’s death from cancer in 2000. She had trouble sleeping, had a kidney infection, and cried during therapy. She said that she was able to overcome her struggles through trusting in God and not caring about the opinions of others.
She continued to write and speak until her death from cancer on March 1, 2014. She was 68 years old.
Legacy and Impact
Ann Kiemel Anderson left a lasting legacy and impact on millions of people who read her books, listened to her speeches, or met her personally. She was a woman of faith, courage, and love, who inspired others to follow God and to live with joy and hope. She was a friend of Focus on the Family, a Christian organization that featured her on their broadcasts and blog. Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, wrote a tribute to her, saying that she was a “tender warrior who loved the Lord deeply”. He also asked people to pray for her four sons and her twin sister, who were dealing with the pain of her passing.