Dreaming Big for Over a Century

Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries

“You cannot make a dent in the change that’s needed unless you dream big,” says Danny Nicholson, president of Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries.

Big things have been happening for children and families at the Greenwood, S.C.-based social services organization since 1892. It was one of the earliest grantee partners of The Duke Endowment in the 1920s, with a grant of $7,000 for one of the area’s first social workers.

Today the ministry offers a range of individualized services through four core programs: residential care, crisis care, foster care and family care.

Connie Maxwell was established as a ministry of the S.C. Baptist Convention. Today, like many other modern child welfare organizations, its focus is shifting toward strategies that help avoid disruption of families, rather than responding after traumatic events. The organization has evolved, embracing proven, evidence-based models for preventative care and support.

The Family Care program at Connie Maxwell is one example of how this strategic shift manifests itself. With support from the Endowment, the program applies new knowledge, insights on effective solutions based on data and proven practices informed by careful research. Family Care provides up to two years of housing, financial education, vocational training, aftercare services for new mothers and babies, and spiritual guidance for disadvantaged families, many of them single mothers, working toward independent living.

Since the program began in 2012, Family Care has served 75 parents and 151 children, numbers that are growing rapidly. When Connie Maxwell officials found that transportation was a major barrier for participating families, they added staff to help families overcome the problem. Such focus on meeting basic needs helps families achieve the program’s intended outcomes such as securing jobs and stable housing, focusing on education and achieving financial stability.

“We have a deep legacy of fixing things. What if we could dream of a world where we didn’t have to fix anything?”

Danny Nicholson, President

Connie Maxwell Danny

“I first came to Connie Maxwell when I was 11 years old, and now I am a senior in college,” says Katie Foster, a Connie Maxwell volunteer. “I can see myself in so many of these students. Because so many people have made a difference in my life, I want to do that. I want to be that person for someone.”

Former Connie Maxwell Alumni President Dr. Ernest E. Mackins, M.Div, says he knows Connie Maxwell has made a difference in his life. “I think the 1981 version of me would be shocked that a little boy who was in a brown suit who carried around the Bible now has a doctorate degree, is three years from retirement, and has the opportunity to finish up strong,” he says with a broad and easy smile.

Learn more at conniemaxwell.com.

Connie Maxwell hero