Distance runner goes all out to help Warrensburg church
By Allen Palmeri
April 5, 2005
WARRENSBURG – One might think that an All-American athlete at a university would not have much time to give to her church, but Kristin Anderson, a senior distance runner at Central Missouri State University, commits two nights a week to First Baptist Church, Warrensburg.
Anderson, a four-time NCAA Division II All-American in three different sports, serves her church as a children’s music teacher on Wednesdays and a youth group worker on Thursdays.
“Instead of just feeling like kind of a number there, getting involved really just plugs you in,” Anderson said. “I love getting to church and little kids say hi to me on Sunday morning, and I know the youth by name. I just feel a part of the church, and that’s what I was missing when I first came to college.
“I do a lot better when I get involved, because if I know I have a lot of time I’ll sit around and be like, ‘Well, I have all tomorrow to do it, I’ll just watch TV tonight.’ This way it’s like I can’t. I can’t miss these things (at church Wednesday and Thursday).”
Anderson earned All-American honors twice in outdoor track and once in cross country before traveling to Boston for the national indoor track and field championships March 11-12. She proceeded to place fifth in the 5,000 meters with a school-record and personal-best time of 16:46.99. In a span of three weeks at the end of the season, she managed to lower the school record in the event by more than 50 seconds.
Two weeks before becoming an indoor track All-American, Anderson led her team to a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship by earning the most points at the conference meet.
Anderson became a Christian through a non-denominational church in Ohio when she was 4 or 5 by praying a prayer of salvation with her mother, Joy. Her father, Bob, and mother have helped her grow as a Christian along with her uncle, Jim Anderson, dean of Midwestern Baptist College, Southern Baptist Convention, Kansas City.
Her relationship with her boyfriend, Daniel Turpin, a junior at Central Missouri State who plays drums in the orchestra at First Warrensburg, has also been Christ-centered. Anderson and Turpin both teach a group of about 12 mostly second graders on Wednesday night.
“He really helps with the music, rhythm parts and stuff,” Anderson said. “I do the creative dancing part."
“I think I’m a little more partial to the younger kids (as opposed to the youth group). It’s a lot of fun with them. They keep you laughing all the time.”
Her focus right now is to help her group, which is part of the larger Life Praise Kids program, prepare to help lead overall church worship April 30 and May 1. She and Turpin hope to invite a lot of their non-churched friends to church for those days, including several members of the women’s track team.
“We’ve been trying to talk as much as we can about these kids we’re working with,” Anderson said.