D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award – Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips
Marsha R. Pitts-Phillips, President and Founder of MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC, is the recipient of the D. Parke Gibson Award. The award recognizes a PR professional who has helped expand awareness of PR with multicultural communities.
Pitts-Phillips is an accomplished communications leader whose career has included non-profit PR leadership, strategic consultation, broadcast journalism and educating the next generation of PR professionals at several universities in Minnesota. Throughout her distinguished career, she has been deeply committed to diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness, which she believes are business imperatives that should be woven into the fabric of – and reflected by – every professional entity. A long-time advocate for diversity, Pitts-Phillips was unanimously elected as the PRSA Minnesota Chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2019.
She was also instrumental in helping to establish the Multicultural Scholarship Endowment in collaboration with the PRSA Foundation and the PRSA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The fund was created in response to the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the ongoing issues of systemic racism. The PRSA Minnesota Chapter was the inaugural donor of this scholarship, which will empower rising diverse talent in the public relations industry.
The Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church today introduced their congregation to its new senior pastor, the Reverend Elijah L. McDavid III, who will step into the role on January 1, 2021. The church’s current senior pastor, the Reverend Albert Gallmon Jr., is scheduled to retire at the end of the year, from what is affectionately referred to as “the Ship” by its congregants.
McDavid was formally introduced by Gallmon during a special 10 a.m. live YouTube broadcast, which is the time of the church’s usually pre-recorded worship service. The leadership pushed the pre-recorded service to start later. McDavid received overwhelming approval from the congregation having garnered 85% of the vote.
Gallmon and Fellowship’s Deacon Board chair, Sonia Smith, led the pulpit search committee through a nearly three-year national search process, which amassed more than 60 applicants. The candidate group was whittled down to four finalists who presented bible studies and sermons throughout July and early August. The field was then narrowed to two candidates. Church voting took place over a two-week period, with the results formally announced by Gallmon Saturday evening, September 12. Gallmon says the congregation is thrilled beyond measure.
He praised the search committee’s dedication and professionalism. “As I journey towards my retirement, it warms my heart and soul to see how God walked with the pulpit search committee. The committee demonstrated Godly discernment, wisdom, and professionalism throughout the entire process,” Gallmon said in a formal statement.
McDavid comes to Fellowship from Alexandria, Va.-based Alfred Street Baptist Church, where he was Assistant to the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley. McDavid had oversight of Village, a community ministry; Hidden Halos; and supported the Men’s Ministry, Tuesday night Bible Study, and the funeral service team.
“I am overjoyed to join the family at the Ship! It does not yet appear what God has in store for this new chapter. I cannot wait to meet you all and experience all that God has in store for this chapter as ‘Pastor and People,’” says Pastor-elect McDavid.
McDavid earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) institution, Morehouse College in Atlanta, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary.
He plans to relocate to the Twin Cities in early November. Due to covid-19, a formal installation service will be scheduled at a later date.
Stephanie and David Maggitt took their 8-year-old granddaughter to the Mall of America so often that they bought a ride pass. Now the Golden Valley couple are playing cards and board games and baking with Gabriella at home.
“I’m teaching her how to measure and we work on her fractions,” said Stephanie. “I let her decorate the cupcakes; you can imagine the mile-high icing.”
When the stay-at-home orders were issued, the Maggitts (aka Nene and Papi), kept their distance. But they decided to create a “bubble” by limiting other contact so they could see their daughter and granddaughter. Stephanie is retired; there’s no one else in David’s insurance office and their daughter, a single parent, sheltered in place, working at home and schooling Gabriella.
“We like to give her a break and we missed Gabby so much,” said Stephanie.
The Maggitts have kept in touch with their other two granddaughters, who live in North Carolina, through video calls. But she admits she longs to be close to them.
“We’re all missing out,” she said.
Click here for the full story in the Star Tribune.