Joe MacDonald was born and raised in Goderich Ontario Canada, a quaint tourist town on the east shore of Lake Huron. He attended a one-room country school with all eight elementary grades, until he was bussed to a new middle school eight miles away.
Living his teen years in the tumultuous 1960s, Joe graduated from High School and joined the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force where he was partnered with a believer who shared his faith with Joe. Attending his brother wedding, Joe told a religious joke to the brides family after the ceremony was over only to have no one laugh or even smile. Feeling that he said something offensive, Joe once again visited the family to apologize. It was at this time that they shared the Gospel with him and he accepted Christ as his Saviour.
Shortly after, Joe enrolled in Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener Ontario to be equipped for ministry. He became the first fulltime pastor of a new church in Amherstburg Ontario and then moved to the Atlanta Georgia area where he served as an Assistant Pastor. God led him back to Canada to start a church in Port Hope Ontario in 1975. Over the next 40 years he served as Senior Pastor in churches in Pennsylvania, Kansas and Manitoba Canada and now at Emmanuel Church in Sandwich Illinois. Joe often had to supplement his income through business ventures at struggling churches he was called to help.
His business experience includes owning a specialty advertising company, managing a nationally franchised steak house, starting a non-profit day care and preschool, being president of two successful Christian Schools, owning a real estate brokerage firm and a litigation support/computer forensic company in downtown Chicago. In 1992, Joe was named “Impact Person of the Year” by a daily newspaper in Kansas.
In 1971 Joe married Lynn, his college sweetheart and began regularly attending CBMC in Owen Sound Ontario. He has also been active in Winnipeg, where he was instrumental in beginning a CBMC team and also in Chicago Illinois, where in 2008 he was invited by CBMC USA to join the staff as the Chicago Area Director.
Joe lost his wife and ministry partner of 38 years in August 2009. Yet God chose another ministry partner, a widow who lost her husband while on a mission rip to Indonesia in 2007. Joe and Barb were married on September 29, 2012.
Joe accepted the Canadian Board of CBMC’s offer to become its next President in April 2011 and currently is also the Chicago Area Leader. Strategically focused in making disciples, Joe covets your prayer support for him and his ministries.