Cynthia Anderson and Barbara Jackson
DescriptionDr. Barbara Jackson (51) interviews her best friend, Pastor Cynthia Anderson (57), about being a survivor of domestic violence and what she's learned by surviving the challenges that have come to her in her life.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Cynthia Anderson
- Barbara Jackson
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
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00:03 Hi, my name is Cynthia Anderson. I'm 57 years old and today is July 24th. 2021 Saturday. My location is Rochester, New York. And the name of my conversation partner happens to be my BFF. Pastor Barbara, what? Let's call a doctor Barbara, Jackson, and I am so glad to be interviewed by her. Awesome. Awesome. My name is dr. Barbara Jackson, and I am 51 years old. And today's date is July 24th, and it's on a Saturday. I'm located in Davenport Florida, which is 15 minutes away from the Mickey Mouse. And I'm interviewing my dear friend, my BFF, my Confidant Pastor. Dr. Cynthia Anderson, and I'm super excited by interviewing this wonderful woman of God.
01:03 All right, I guess. It started out with this conversation. Pastor Anderson. Can you share with the audience a little bit about yourself? Well, I am a Bishop's Daughter. Born Into the home of a bishop and a pastor that they worked as a team, a little bit about my life is, I got married quite young at the age of 19. I got married. I had a baby at 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 27 and then I end up having raised other children, but I have a adopted son who is now 20 that I got at 3 months old. I thought God had the biggest sense of humor after all of those tedious years of a baby coming home every year. I finally had a break and then here comes a three-month old, baby.
02:03 But God has been favorable. I am a licensed daycare provider.
02:08 And at the same time simultaneously, I run a church, the greater Faith Hope Center. I am a glamorous, my lovely grandmother in which I adore I adore my children are eight of them. But there is a a prize and being a grandmother is so real friends and me working with them and working in my community is what I do to change lives for a lifetime. I love it. I love it. Tell us a little bit about growing up as a PK kid. Oboy. So grown up as a pastor's child.
02:50 It was it was exuberant for me. I adored being able to say that my father was the pastor in my mother was the elect lady and all fifteen of us were in the church. We were working singing and dancing under the spirit of God and you know, seeing so many lies come into church families after family. We were reared in Rochester, but my father's from Little Rock and moved it navigated to Detroit for General Motors. The jobs were good. The economy was good. And so the navigated say her and then my father was called to go preach in the pastor in Dayton, Ohio, where I was born and then because calprotectin was going to come take all 11 and 11:15 because my father was preaching all over the globe and my mother was burdened with 11 children. They felt that she wasn't capable.
03:50 I'm taking care of, all of us. My parents got us in a car. I understand that I was put in the back window cuz there was no, who I know lap. So they talk to me in the back window, and they brought us here from Dayton Ohio to Rochester, New York, which has been an amazing, a choice for my father to save our family, you know, how, you know, was with Moses. Moses was saved in the Nile. And so, my father and my mother saved us by bringing us to Rochester and stole his life was good as being a PK until you know, you get older and challenged people. Start walking out and leaving the ministry and that and do you have your own idea of who God is?
04:34 And it starts, changing you. A cool. Jesus is personally to you, you start seeing things different, you know, from that kid that sees, nothing but sees, everything is good. And then you start seeing like, come in with challenges. So it was good. But under being a PK, I experienced one of the greatest devastations of my life, which is such an exuberant Ministry for me, and that is being molested by my brother. That was a dark dark dark. Hi. Just a labrador bit about that struggle in this. Those challenges. I can only imagine as a PK kid and being in a situation where your own brother molested you. How was that? And how did you deal with it? And overcame that? So it was tough to overcome. I heard my parents.
05:34 You know, say bring your children to church, bring it to the church. And, you know, and I felt like well, if you would have brought me to church, I would not have sustained. This evil is poison to my life. And so, at the time, my parents were not pastran when this happened to. Yes, they were. They were Pastor. They were new pastures when this happened to all right, and so, they would go to church and they would leave my brother home with the younger ones and they were new at Pastor. It had a whole lot of lies. And so I guess it was easier to take the older ones and leave the younger was home, but they put me under the hands of a disabled brother. All right, so, you know what they would go to church, he would do, if he was stationed, everybody upstairs. We lived in the ranch house in the suburb, and he was stationed, everybody upstairs. And then I was here, my name Cynthia, come here. We were raised in a family.
06:34 Where you have to obey those that were older than you, it didn't matter what they said. They trusted that they understood God and that they were only tell you to do what was right, right. And so they put that in there safeguarded that you obey the one order the you. When we go out to do ministry or go out to shop, then the house is secured, but that wasn't the good thing to do. I'm so being molested. I would have to come downstairs and it was such a dirty feeling, but the problem was
07:11 That I wasn't ever able to tell my mother wow ever. And so, you know, being married and my husband was, I told my sister Jackie and I told my husband before, I marry you, I have to tell you the trauma that one if every day because this may be something you cannot handle. And so I told him and he said to me will work through it.
07:43 We'll work through it.
07:45 So that that was traumatic because I heard God is a keeper, right? I mean every word that came for, he's a savior and then he didn't keep me. And so, then I wonder why today? I understand that there's purpose, nothing that I've been through would ever be wasted.
08:09 Yes, that's really good. Nothing ever be wasted. So tell me, Cynthia of what would you tell someone that has dealt with that same problem today and challenges, trying to to move forward. But this is the skeleton, this issue that has a fact that life. What would you tell that person that's dealing with domestic violence and dealing with Christ as what what you tell them to be encouraged and how to overcome as well with that situation. All right, so I deal with women and I deal with men, I do it sustained molestations that has sustained domestic violence. My greatest tool for them is to find your inner self. The purpose that you were born for.
09:02 Start pushing and driving your life to reach that goal because you will be lost in the sauce of thinking that there is nothing for you. Here. You better Mark Wright, the domestic violence part. I married a man that I loved and adored didn't want to marry him but a did you know we get I like but then you know, I I knew that this was my husband is so when you marry somebody that you love and you are a church woman and you believe in prayer that you can beat up and it seemed like your prayer is not being heard and you're dealing with being pushed in. You know. Today I carry a mark on the back of my head. I'm a cancer survivor. So I'm jumping. And so, when I had to go for a brain scan, they said there's a mark on your brain and I knew immediately what had happened, right?
10:02 And so they said we don't believe his cancer but there's some damage that it happened to you. And so today, I still do, you know what the man that abused me. But until I say to women tapped into your greater self in and I heard God asked me so many times. Can you forgive him today? I'm home, because I made a conscious decision to forgive everybody that hurt me. I had to say to my dad and I'm grateful that I did. I forgive you, you know, because I grew up, not trust it from the molestation, right? Affairs has been on my mother. It made me not trust men. And I had to overcome that and I stay to whatever you want to conquer. You got a challenge that
10:56 You have to decide I'm bigger than this molestation. I'm bigger than the domestic violence, and I have a purpose for everything that happened to me. There is other people out there that is in a trauma, right there in a cocoon that, that, that caterpillar, and they need to come out. If you have what it takes to help navigate them out. And so, my advice to them is to find a support group. I have a support group, that's good support group, but be willing to put in the work and it's ugly. It's a punch. Like a caterpillar. They got a break through a cocoon.
11:39 The beer to get out and realize. All right. I was meant to fly in to be pretty good day. I know I was meant to fly and can be pretty to other women that still ugly on the inside. To look at me and say, she went through all of that. Yes, he got here and that's to go through a process. You have to be willing to be vulnerable. I love that because many times people said I won't, I won't move on until I'm dealing with myself. I want a response from an individual to tell me that is sorry. But sometimes you may not get that respond. So what happens when you don't get the, I'm sorry, that news, I wanted my dad to say, baby. I'm sorry. He use me as a little girls. Probably 9. You told me go in the garage cuz I was a phone, all over the house, call the garage called the lady. Tell her, she could come over, don't tell your mother. She won't understand.
12:40 I'm a kid. You used me to get her here with that, my entire life, right? But I overcame it because I understood. There is purpose. Resiliency, bounced back. I had to forgive forgive him. I wanted to be angry because you feel like I own this.
13:03 And I'm, you know, I'm on the top of this because, you know, I have this anger, but I didn't know freedom to really live, until I said these were I forgive you for everything you've done to me, and I shared that with him and he remembered, he remember, telling me to go in the garage and make that last phone call, and get her there, and I would never do that to my mother. I would never do that to my family, my family, as a church family, we suffered and that's one of my books. The past, we bounced back. That's one of the messages, you preach. When I open up my church by bro carries me. We have power to bounce back after American women that are strong and a remind the women, no matter what dark area you have come under.
14:02 You have resiliency on the inside of you. You are the next Veo. Right? Right, right. Right. Right, right. You have to pick up Choice. You're not defined by your trauma.
14:22 What you have to ride? You better listen, or do I need to buy them? I felt so ugly. I had all these babies and all, I could afford was what they needed. Right? Sacrifice me. I'm dealing with domestic violence. I'm feeling empty and left out and I want to leave. I want to run in one, dude. I got in the van. My husband was driving and he said that one last thing and Whitney Jefferson Road. I jumped out the van. I said you can have the family is not worth it and I heard a man screaming. Just imagine.
15:07 Seven of your children screaming because their fear is we will never see our mother again and around and I got in that van and I turned around in that seat. And I looked at my children in the face. And I said, you all, know, whatever I say, I hold to it. I vow to
15:34 I would never leave you are ever, it has not been easy or my, but let me tell you, I have held to my word that I would not walk out in abandoned the family. That God gave me in a little bit to it. He would take me through the. I remember to do, you know, domestic violence stems from Financial stuff, right? And so, my husband would not work yet a great job with a great Union. It's so because he wouldn't show up to work. They felt like, we're not going to process your disability papers. So I had to go to hotels and clean hotel rooms and my children eat many nights until 10 at night. When I got done those tips. I will put my name on that paper and baby. I'll be praying in that room and I'll be cleaning at hotel room.
16:34 Go back the next day. It is $20. + $50 + $50 in that room and I would go across the street to Taps. I get food and I'll go home, and I cook a feed my babies until God. Yes. Thank you. So, it hasn't been easy. So much story to every woman that is out there. Whether you're a prostitute right now, whether you're in domestic violence right now, whether you've been molested right now, you're you don't know which way to go to do with drugs and alcohol, and that's your only comfort.
17:13 I dare you to put the work in. I love it. I are worth it. We are the total sum.
17:23 I am the total sum of everything that has ever happened to me why I love that. Listen. I want you to share with the audience about your illness that you to go. But the cancer. Can you share about a little bit about that with the audience today? Yes. So 2008 was that year started out Barbara like man, I can take the world. It was great. I was walking around feeling like a boss woman, right? And I was literally dances that I love my life.
18:03 Love my life. And because my sister died at the age of 41 and breast cancer and the doctor said to my dad in Detroit, he said all nine of your daughters with died of breast cancer. And so at the age of probably 24-25 I qualified for every year going for a mammogram 2008. I had not been since 2003.
18:38 Did not realize those euphorium years of starting a church and, you know, all of that life was good. I totally forgot that every year in December, you go for a mammogram. I had acid reflux and one of the ladies of my church, that you can go to South Avenue women's partnership and they'll do, you know, they'll give you the medicine. You need for acid reflux cold and I look on the wall. And it says, do you want a free mammogram? And I grabbed a little piece of paper off and I took it home put on my nightstand and I went on. I'm in my room clean and then I hear call for a mammogram.
19:15 I here again call for mammogram and I'm trying to push it out. I might like this good. Nobody got time for that. I heard again call for mammogram. While I pause because at that moment, three back-to-back, I sit on my bed, pick up the phone and I called schedule my mammogram and life was good. I went to a tooth but my mammogram at Saturday morning. I went to a prayer breakfast. Life was good church was good, Sunday Monday. I got the call. I was driving with the children. I'm a licensed daycare provider. And so I had a 12 passenger van and I, and I answer the phone, but I saw that it was bored bored and I Imaging. And so she said, I'm Doctor such as such and I wanted to call you mrs. Anderson because we see density on your mammogram. And at that moment, the struggle got real like I'm driving.
20:14 And this is serious. She said we need you to come back, you know, for the another repeat tasks in lullaby blah. And so she said I've already called your OB-GYN, you know, set up other appointments and we need you to come back for a more extensive mammogram test. And so, I went back for that. They called me and said you have cancer. They biopsied me and said, you have cancer stage 3, breast cancer and then they called me again Barbara and they said, we need you to come back in that machine. Again. This machine I filed in that machine is 45 minutes and it is with her eyes. The WOW, internet machine. I prayed and I I plant my funeral.
21:09 I quoted every scripture that I could quote it. I talk to God.
21:15 And I made a fuss and I said, you'll never have to come back in this machine again.
21:28 But I got that car and said, this is Anderson. Got to go back because we can't touch your cancer. We can't feel it.
21:39 And the only way to biopsy as cancer as we got to put you back in that machine again, and I'll take God.
21:52 He got a ride this with me information is and was that if I was going to die and lose my battle?
22:03 He wouldn't have ever spoken to me and told me to call for a mammogram, free time to do. My God. I would remind God. You said I can remind you of your word. You told me three times to go that's because purpose is still here for me. I Remember by Juanita. Bynum said, pray and ask God to heal you and you can't do the ministry God wants for you. If you're sick, right? And she said, and you can't die until you fulfill your days of everything that God has required of you on Earth. So, today I am here, blasted from City to City from state-to-state from a Circumstance, the circumstance, from life, crisis to life crisis.
23:03 Everybody, no matter if it's cancer. If it's yourself, I got to fight me to write them days. We talked to each other, and I want, I want to go. You got to go everything. I've done everything. I know every area that I can imagine it says, Cynthia, your children are watching your go and if you stop here, they'll stop where you stop.
23:36 So you got to keep them one, right? I love that and I can you just shared a whole lot of nuggets. Where did you learn from your obstacles and pain? That you went through? Is there anything else that you learn from? All of that? That was powerful you said because God called you three times to go to get that mammogram. You knew that it was an old for you. You knew right then that it was necessary that you go through because at the end of the day, there was purpose that you needed to fulfill fulfill the plan for your life. That powerful that I'm driven about this, what drives me everyday? Yeah, right. I got to get up in the morning and pray right at the end of town and I'm praying for life, right? Where were you calling from? I'm praying, right? And then I got to get up and then I got to look like a daycare provider, right? I'm reminded that sometimes you need to grow.
24:36 You do a dress up. You may have to flip a bee on the TV Camera. Different time. They showed up at my door. Mrs. Henderson. We want an interview for you. I don't know what they look like. They know, they don't know. You're alright. Give me a few minutes. I would look totally different and I'll be ready for your camera and let her go in. And, you know, do the hair, get the makeup ready and I'll come out. Like, I don't look like what. I just like the boys that struggled I had to take speech classes because I stuttered and that was one of the damages of being molested.
25:27 When was I stuttered? And I I couldn't and so it was easier to be quiet rather than to say something and and you trying to get it out and took speech classes when I was young and then when I realize I was going to be a pastor, I went and took public speaking, you know, to to get all those out of, right? And so today, when I get up and I get dressed, I realized that this voice has to reach, somebody a stop in my car. Like today. I was trying to get here for this and I found myself stopping neighbors that were walking Sharon about God with them. They're walking. And I'm like, hey, how you doing? I know one of them. The one, I didn't even realize after this pandemic, and while we're in this pandemic, and why we have a threat of this.
26:27 Delta bury it and hurting bad. Yeah, we put makeup on. We put our jewelry on the wheel. You know, we looked upon like, we're walking toward success, for what is it in the heart of these people that have lost their mother, their father, that I the struggling in their Community because of homicides and domestic violence in all of the stuff, you know, our city right now among cats, run to RC.
26:58 I guess what a lot of them look to me for an answer.
27:05 So I have to be ready to speak to their crisis. They say Pastor Anderson. I was on vacation and they call me when you get on this soon. And then the request was, will you feed me?
27:20 Will you feed me what to do to help with what is in my hand? And I'm thinking I'm going to feed you while I'm beating me. And I said, I thought myself saying, yes, I will. You get dinner in the corner. You call me. I'll give you the solution for the problem. And so it is, it is amazing to see where I come from to see where God is taking me to. Like, that would have been through, is not what you think.
27:57 So what have been through?
28:05 Was not wasted.
28:08 And what is on the inside?
28:14 What is on the inside of you defines? What your moves are?
28:22 Things happened to Edward. They heard our end would but on the inside of us we have what it takes to always bounce back from every crisis. Wow, around my church. There are drug addicts. Drug dealers, prostitutes Young
28:48 Could tell, they were beautiful at one point and some of them are beautiful but had all the trauma.
28:55 My assignment is to get out there and I found out this mouth is powerful Barbara and to reach them because they've done that church, right? So they don't know, but Grandma now as we say
29:13 They grew up here and Amazing Grace. Oh, yeah, modern day song. So there are times where I have to reach back to the old hymns. I should Lord, and if they start walking to me to come over here, if I switch up. I love it. Where crisis, drop them at.
29:40 They were dropped with those old songs, The Power of
29:48 Knowing how to navigate is the crowd. You're reaching that, that 54 T crowd. They were drop with Amazing Grace.
30:02 This new crowd, you can start singing, you know, Kirk Franklin stomp. You going to reach him Franklin. You can get a Hezekiah Walker, steal? Their they've heard it was ascended. They heard a merry, merry weather is in the beauty salon or wherever they've heard it. If you just are singing it, you'll get an audience and then I use what I have and tell them my story. I can start anywhere. I can stop and domestic violence. Go to the molestation. I've got I've got a cancer.
30:41 I'm going to church her. Listen. I want to ask a question before we move on. Can you share what's going in your city? And what role did you play as an activist? So in my city we are at right now over 40 homicide.
31:01 Is number 40 homicides, there's been two hundred people that are randomly have been shot. They're killing children that he Beast there. It doesn't matter is, it's just bad right now, you know.
31:18 I would say when the summer came, it was nothing to hear children screaming running playing, you know, they were so ready to get to, you know, the playground, you know, all the good. The rec center have not been opened. But you would hear a museum out. Throwing balls are playing.
31:36 Lately. You ride through the city streets and you don't see any children playgrounds are empty, you know, from my church, you can use it go over and then we had a love day and when my godson I was giving out, you know, stuff in the community toys for children.
31:54 There was only like five people that came. I said we'll go over to the playground. There was nobody there because they're afraid my job. I go out to the horrific scene as a pastor and as an activist and I reach those families. My question when I arrive, it's where's the family? And I go right to the families and put my arm around them and say I'm passing Anderson. I want you to know, I care, I love it and and they start talking and it and then I let I follow them but I always leave them with, I'm available to you. Love it. Love it.
32:36 So we're sitting every week. I'm sitting from zoom zoom meetings sit on boards as soon as the pastor's Roundtable where we are diligently.
32:50 At the laboratory, trying to find out. How do we help the gun violence? The youth, the drugs? How do we change it? What doors, do we open? How do we not reinvent the wheel? How do we do something? And all of us come together and we're unified and at the same time. I rode with sit at the table, another sub to this group is, how do Pastors like me? That is getting these calls to go out to to these scenes. Blood everywhere, dead bodies laying, you know, she was shot 17 times her son, 3 years old, was in the back seat or two year old daughter ran to get help. We have to go reach these families. Go take toys and clothing to these children, you know, you can't. They don't have a sum of 110 of them that I don't have a mother or father. And in the Des Moines Girls. I want to see my dad. They just killed it. I want to see him. You got a hug. Them is a baby.
33:49 You can't live that you can't see him right now. That's not a scene that you were going to let you live the rest of your life. And so, even as a daycare provider, I'm taking care of these children.
34:02 I'm taking care of them.
34:04 That are struggling that have to leave out of my house to go to counselors in. And then they look to me and then I've got a I got a navigate to counselors cuz they're with me the majority of the time. It's all a lot of times. I'm running, you know, spearheaded how what are the counselors or therapist? I deal with these children because I get to see the meltdowns.
34:28 Yes, that's good. We're moving right along. I got a couple more questions. I'd like to ask you Cynthia today, you shared about your struggles, you shared about the pain, the traumatic things that you had dealt with in life today. You are successful woman of God, woman of business, and entrepreneurial. How did you navigate being successful? And can you share with the audience some boy and tools that they can use? So they can learn from your successful moves. Yes, and I want to say this to you cuz I was going somewhere and it it lost. I lost my train of thought as pastors. We are sitting forming a group where we're going away leaders on a retreat.
35:14 We're going on a retreat. So we can be healthy, man, body and soul, what help me to be successful. The struggle coming in up in a family of 15 watching, my parents suffer, to make things happen for us. There were times when I needed the odorant. We couldn't get it. I got a whooping because I went to the store and I got my lotion, my best Lane and all of my hair stuff in my body and I didn't ask and I felt like I shouldn't have had to ask Daddy natural. That's what you provide things. Push me to say in high school. I've got to take business classes.
35:59 So why my friends were playing? I was setting up my future taking business class to learn how to balance a checkbook. Learn how to save money learning, how to invest learning, how to spend wisely, right? And then know how to spend when you just want to go Splurge. You make sure your bills are paid Friday, get my stuff into places in you. I read this book. Once what makes the great great and it says, standing on the shoulders of great people. So I had to reposition myself for Success around successful people, and it has been a fight. I've had to learn this. This, it's a trick of the tree people. Hold things back for you. And so I learn to get out there and then I started by being a licensed daycare provider, a pasture, right? And now I've shifted into to teaching master classes and and and selling my own t-shirt line.
36:59 Do I use my story on my t-shirt? And I sell them? I use the ministry, you know, that the subject of what I preach. I put them on the t-shirt and I said, you know? And so life is good. You know, I learned that you can make money sleeping. Yes. Yes. I love it. I'm not going to say that when I was working jobs in my young years. I started working at the age of 14 and I decided probably around the age of 19 that I was going to be my own boss. I have not clocked you for a job from the, you know, nobody's job from in my early twenties. I've been my own boss and it's been good.
37:48 I love it. I love that. You shared a whole lot of nugget to the audience before we go. I wanted to ask you a question. What would you like to people to Remember You?
38:01 As and do you have any regrets? If so share? I don't have regrets. If there was a regret is that I didn't move out earlier. I write I want people to remember me as a voice as a voice that I was stand with you. When everybody stand against you love it. You have me. It's not easy to find somebody. That's true that she was consistent.
38:38 That she understood stick-to-itiveness that she valued relationships and she understood the power of Association that you're not, as you often say Island one another, we need a box of man. He was one of our greatest allies, Lovett. If I had
39:09 Pastor Anderson on my side. Let me fall. That's what I want. Children to remember me back. You know, they call me Miss Cece and I want my daycare children, my children more over. The Bible says that our children will grow up and call us blessed. And I waited, for those words. I can tell him to call me blessed my life.
39:39 If so, I want people to know to remember me as a giant.
39:46 I love it to the humble giant. I love it. I don't want to realize how powerful. I am ever. I just want to do the work. Wow, and that's exactly what you been doing ever since I've known you. You such a remarkable woman. I am so glad that I can call you and you answer and respond. Now only answer respond, but you find means and ways to make sure that I'm good. You are friend to the friendless. You a mother to the motherless. You are sister to the sister and you and I can go on and on and on to speak how wonderful you are. And I believe that everyone that hears you sees. This video will be blessed by your testimony and your life, because you definitely have a story to share. Thank you so much for joining with us and sharing with that your life. And I pray that everyone that get a chance to hear. This will be blessed as well. Thank you.
40:46 So very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming on. It is a pleasure. I would not have wanted anyone else to interview me and I felt like all the people that got siblings in people that I love dearly but I felt like who know me and know my heart very well. You can't be a BFF. If you don't know the ins and out, I can be vulnerable with you. Yes, I can laugh with you and get all my stories. Don't let me hold you. I thank you so very much for such an awesome interview. It has been a pleasure to lay my life out and help somebody. My job is assigned to those that don't have a name, those that are overlooked, you know, they're not the popular.
41:46 I want the dog. I want those that have a story and feel like they don't, I want to build and create your story. I love it.
41:58 Thank you so very much.
42:01 My name is Cynthia. I'm sticking with it is Barbara me, too?