President and CEO
Mark D. Anderson
Mark D. Anderson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a call he accepted in January 2011. In this role, Mark leads the NBA in living out its mission of “creating communities of compassion and care” – a mission that NBA fulfills by utilizing a network of ministry partners and by equipping congregations and other direct-care providers to deliver services to those in need.
A social worker by profession, Mark has devoted his career to meeting the medical and mental health needs of others. He previously served as Programs and Operations Director for Ronald McDonald House Charities in Kansas City, Missouri, an organization that provides temporary lodging and support services for children, who are receiving medical treatment, and their families.
From 2000 to 2008, Mark was the Executive Director of Kansas City’s SAVE Inc., a nonprofit housing agency serving people living with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. With responsibility for the overall vision, financial management, resource development, staffing, and programming of SAVE Inc., Mark oversaw tremendous growth in the organization’s services and visibility while ensuring its fiscal soundness and focus on its mission. Mark has also worked as a clinical social worker and a family therapist.
He is a graduate of Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, and holds a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. He has taught courses in social work at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has served on the General and Administrative Boards of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as well as held several positions on the local and regional levels. Some of his favorite memories were as a youth sponsor at his home congregation in Kansas. He is a native of Peoria, Illinois, and is a third-generation Disciple. Mark is a member at Union Avenue Christian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
Getting to know Mark
Why do you feel “called to care” about Disciples health and social service ministry?
From a young age, I have always felt a call to care for people in need. As I matured in my understanding of individual and societal problems, I developed a deeper appreciation of the systemic challenges marginalized communities face. I believe strongly that health and social service ministries can respond to both the immediate need in their communities, as well as fighting to change the systems that prevent people from overcoming their challenges in life. The Church has a unique, distinct voice in this arena and is making changes in local communities.
Who is a hero of yours, and why?
At the top of my hero list would be my mom. She’s always shown compassion and love for others. Her lack of standing in judgment of people is a quality I strive for. As an active member of the church, I remember a particular time growing up, mom was instrumental in educating the church about the refugee crisis in Vietnam. It went beyond education, as my home church in Peoria welcomed a couple of young men who had been relocated to begin a new life in a foreign country. As they created a new community, they became part of the fabric of our family. My mom always responded to human suffering and injustices. She’s my hero.
If I tried to find you in a supermarket, what aisle would you be in?
Grocery store? What is this?