Rev. Fred Maxwell was a pillar of hope in Central Florida. 

Widely considered the father of our region’s black preachers, Rev. Maxwell preached throughout the community and served as pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church for 37 years. He was a civil rights leader, known for his intellect and eloquence.

Rev. Maxwell had great compassion for those who were suffering. Whenever he saw anyone in need, he wanted to find a way to make it better. He was particularly concerned with helping homeless men and women who lived on the streets, exposed to the elements without a place to call home. That concern led him to co-found Pathlight HOME almost thirty years ago. 

Rev. Maxwell embodied the values of humility and hard work, and his impact on the community was recognized during his life with the Community Father’s Award, Orange County Humanitarian of the Year, Maxwell-Wright Lifetime Achievement Award and Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor. 

Rev. Maxwell passed away almost 15 years ago, and we still miss him – his smile, his voice, his compassion, and his constant reassurance of our faith in the power of God to change the world. But we are proud that his legacy lives on at Pathlight HOME every day – and that his impact continues long past his death.