Born the son of Lars and Ellen Anderson, he graduated from Stetson High School in Randolph, attended Gordon College and Gordon School of theology with a masters degree in 1940. He later did graduate work at Harvard Divinity School and Bridgewater State college and received a masters degree in education in 1967. Arvid L. Anderson was ordained at Avon Baptist Church on September 27, 1937, and from 1936 until 1952 he served Baptist churches.
He joined the US Army Reserve and served on active duty as chaplain in Korea from 1952-1954, during which time he co-founded the SHIN Ae Won Orphanage at Wonju, South Korea. He served a total of 22 years in the Army Reserve, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1974. After retirement he served interim pastorates at First congregational Church in Plympton and United Church of Assonet.
A memorial was established in 1999 with Heifer International Foundation from the bequest of Arvid L. Anderson totaling $5,000. Every year, income from the Arvid L. Anderson Memorial will be used by Heifer International to help families produce food and income for themselves.