Marshall Paul Hughes Mitchell is the 11th pastor of the Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown. Called to pastor Salem in September of 2012, Pastor Mitchell brings to Salem a wealth of executive level professional experiences that inform his work, service, and pastorate. He deftly melds secular business acumen with spiritual accountability and promise.
In 2008, Mitchell founded Different Drummer as an alternative and innovative voice in Hollywood’s film industry. Working directly with studios, distributors, and even television networks, Different Drummer is one of Hollywood’s leading film marketing and publicity companies. Among Mitchell’s clients are George Lucas, 20th Century Fox, The Jonas Brothers, Mitch Albom, Disney Animation, and other major studios. Mitchell has provided leadership roles in historic campaigns such as Life of Pi, Waiting for Superman, Red Tails, Good Hair, Tree of Life, and Princess and the Frog. Mitchell’s fingerprints have marked many of the largest and most important films of the last five years. His strategies for engaging and leveraging audiences have become standard in Hollywood film campaigns today.
Prior to Different Drummer’s creation, Mitchell served as the Executive Vice President of Wilberforce University. Under Mitchell’s leadership, Wilberforce experienced an era of enrollment acceleration, student improvement, and the creation of millions of dollars in lab creation and physical enhancement. While embracing the history of the first private historically black college, Mitchell turned a sharp and uncompromising eye toward improving the University’s operations, systems, customer service, and financial position. In one year alone, Wilberforce experienced a 41% increase in first-year enrollment. Similarly, the University’s debt position significantly improved during his tenure.
Mitchell was a co-author of New York State’s charter school law in 1998, the board chairman of the state’s first charter school, Sisulu Public Charter School, and has been involved in education on an ongoing basis for nearly 20 years.
In 1994, Mitchell was appointed Chief of Staff to US Representative Floyd Flake, making him the youngest chief of staff at the time on Capitol Hill. Mitchell developed a deft ability to balance bipartisan interests in the pursuit of public policies that benefitted urban communities, capital markets, and consumers at the same time. Specifically in the area of community development finance and financial market liberalization, Mitchell assumed leadership roles. Mitchell always sought a balance between the interests of both markets and consumers, seeking to grow wealth, opportunity, and access simultaneously.
Mitchell has successfully managed multiple offices in Washington, DC and New York City, providing an intense focus on constituent services and legislative productivity simultaneously. In 1995, Mitchell managed $230 million in congressional district projects, making it New York State’s most productive district. To the pastorate, Mitchell brings a proven record of managing complex ideas and real world budgets. This portends a new way to provide spiritual and practical benefits to his congregation and community.
Mitchell is a proud graduate of Howard University with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and the Classics. He has pursued studies at New York’s Union Theological Seminary in Church History. He serves on the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees and Howard University’s School of Divinity Board of Visitors.