ATLANTA – After 10 years of heading the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s communications, marketing and development efforts, Ben McDade is leaving his post as coordinator of Fellowship Advancement July 31 to become the new executive vice President for Baptists Today.
“My 10 years at CBF have been among the most rewarding and challenging days of my career,” McDade said. “It has been a joy to be a part of the CBF community as it has gained stature across the greater Baptist landscape, and more importantly as together we have sought to assist churches and individuals as they work to more faithfully live into their part of God’s work on earth. I leave to pursue a new challenge while CBF is poised for a bright and impactful future.”
McDade was voted on by the Coordinating Council at the 2002 General Assembly in Fort Worth, and began working in August of that year.
“Ben McDade has been tireless in his efforts to ensure CBF has the resources to carry out its mission,” said Pat Anderson, interim executive coordinator. “He has faced the challenge of trying to help undergird CBF’s financial footing at the exact time that the economy has slipped. We will never know how much more difficult these days would have been for CBF without Ben’s energy, leadership and passion.”
Under his leadership, CBF implemented a more robust media relations arm; purchased and implemented a shared fundraising database used by national, state and regional CBF organizations; enhanced the Fellowship’s digital communications; launched a social media presence; produced award-winning videos; successfully marketed the “It’s Time” resources and accompanying study guide; and instituted field coordinator relationships with Virginia, Texas and Tennessee.
He served as a member of the Fellowship’s senior leadership team, functioning as the chief public relations counsel to then-executive coordinator Daniel Vestal.
“It was my privilege to work with Ben McDade for 10 years,” Vestal said. “He is an incisive thinker and visionary leader who has been able to communicate the mission and message of CBF. He is one of the most principled and passionate persons I know, as well as a valued colleague and friend.”
In 2009 he assumed chief development officer responsibilities and his department was re-named Fellowship Advancement, which encompassed communications, marketing and development.
In McDade’s newly created position at Baptists Today he will work in close relationship with president and executive editor John Pierce to guide the overall mission of Baptists Today and its publishing subsidiary, Nurturing Faith. Specifically, McDade will be responsible for directing a comprehensive program of development and marketing.
“With a background in journalism and advancement and a knowledge of the Baptist people, Ben McDade is a natural to help lead Baptists Today,” said Baptists Today Board Chairman Walter B. Shurden, minister at large for Mercer University. “Our Board of Directors is thrilled to have him on board.”
McDade earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina in 1983 and 1989 respectively. McDade’s communications and development experiences span 30 years in Baptist life including the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Mercer University and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
“Ben brings the right gifts, experience and energy to Baptists Today at just the right time as we grow and expand our ministry,” said John Pierce, Baptists Today editor. “He will be a vital part of a dynamic team of talented and committed people with whom I’m privileged to work.”
He and his wife, Sheryl, have three children, Chelsey, Lee and Kara. The McDades are members of Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Ga.
“Baptists Today’s legacy predates the birth of CBF as it was created to keep free and faithful Baptists informed of the tumultuous shifting Baptist landscape of an earlier era,” McDade said. “While we all owe a debt of gratitude to those who were committed to keeping Baptists informed with unvarnished news and information during those days, it’s the continuing innovative vision, passion, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence of Baptists Today’s staff and board leadership that call me to this next phase of ministry. I am most pleased that my work will allow me to continue serving within the greater Fellowship community as Baptists Today builds on its proud tradition and to be a part of the new publishing venture Nurturing Faith.”
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.