UPDATED: IMB to continue focus on communication, marketing
UPDATED 8/26/19: The International Mission Board released a statement to Baptist Press on Monday (Aug. 26) regarding the Aug 12 announcement, “MacDonald named IMB VP of marketing, communication.” IMB said, “After further discussion with Mark MacDonald, IMB decided that he would not be a good fit and to go in a different direction for the vice president of marketing and communication role.” The day before, MacDonald had posted on Facebook about the decision noting that an anonymous source had informed IMB of a past failure, following which he had undergone restoration with his church. "God is good, but this is difficult," he wrote.
MacDonald currently serves as strategic communication catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention in Jacksonville, Fla., and executive director of the Center for Church Communication, based in Los Angeles, Calif. He has led BeKnownForSomething.com, a national consulting agency that helps churches and people become relevant in their community so they can share the Gospel effectively, and he is the author of "Be Known For Something." His work will shift to the IMB role based in the Richmond, Va., home office in late September.
"We're delighted to welcome Mark MacDonald to our senior leadership team," IMB President Paul Chitwood said. "Mark has more than 30 years of professional success in advertising, communication, design, writing, and speaking in both the Southern Baptist Convention and the secular marketplace. We value his experience leading in a Baptist state convention, his love for serving the local church, and his passion for missions. We trust Mark will lead us toward excellence as we communicate how Southern Baptists are part of God's work around the world through our praying, giving and going."
As vice president of marketing and communication, MacDonald will be responsible for leading IMB's execution of marketing and communication to the Southern Baptist constituency and beyond, maximizing awareness and appreciation for the IMB brand, which Chitwood has stated as a priority since his election in November 2018.
MacDonald said, "As I travel, it doesn't take long to understand our world has changed. In fact, we're experiencing the biggest communication shift in history. The internet and social media have forever changed us.
"It's not as simple as knowing how to use the tools and channels," he said. "It's about creating an effective communication strategy that tells compelling stories that lead to a desired action. There's lots of communication happening, but fewer people are listening. What a huge challenge!"
He noted that God is working through Southern Baptist missionaries in a tremendous way.
"And as they are sharing the Gospel, I believe the story of God's activity must be communicated effectively in order to engage our churches so that they will understand the unique power of the Cooperative Program," he said. "Why? Because we ultimately have a world of stories to tell, centered around the gospel story. I'm praying that together we can tell them so that people in every state will take their place in the Great Commission by praying, giving, and should God lead, going."
In his work at the Florida Baptist Convention, MacDonald's roles include communication director for the 3,000-plus Southern Baptist churches in Florida; managing editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, a subscription-based digital publication; communication consultant for Florida Baptist pastors and other ministry leaders to develop effective evangelism strategy; and public information officer for Florida Baptist Disaster Relief. He previously served as designer, creative director, writer and strategist in one of Eastern Canada's largest marketing agencies and at PinPoint Creative in North Carolina.
IMB trustee chairman Seth Polk said MacDonald's "experience serving churches in Florida and across the country, and his accomplishment in finding solutions to communication challenges, give him insight into how IMB can better serve our partners on mission."
MacDonald is a graduate of Bob Jones University, Greenville, S.C. He has earned numerous awards through Baptist Communicators Association; is a Church Network Hall of Fame Inductee; and has received recognition for Best Church Marketing Blog, Davie Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, Summit International Creative Awards, and Mercury Awards (the Oscars of the advertising industry). A Canadian citizen, he is qualified for United States citizenship in 2020. He and Tammy, his wife of nearly 30 years, are members of Chets Creek Church in Jacksonville, Fla. They have two grown sons who live in Calgary and Chicago.