Over the last four years, one man’s vision — which came as a result of his own difficult experiences — has grown into a ministry and blessing to many struggling to make their way in the educational system.
Dusty Maxwell, who currently serves as pastor to students at Kellum Baptist Church in Jacksonville, North Carolina, found himself navigating a college career as an adult and experiencing the difficulties that can come with it.
Back to school
“Soon after I started serving at Kellum Baptist Church, God laid it on my heart to go to school to deepen and strengthen my knowledge of Him and leadership in the church,” Maxwell explained.
As he started back to school at a local community college, he knew the goals God had placed before him.
“My heart was in the right place and the passion was there to pursue the education,” Maxwell said, explaining the challenges he began to face that opened his eyes to the challenges others might also face.
“Like many students, the one thing that was always a heavy weight through my journey was the cost,” he noted. “God provided for me on many occasions through several different scholarships, generous individuals and my church. It was with this help that I was able to take classes on a consistent basis.
“Because of the generosity that I was shown, I was able to graduate from both undergrad and graduate schools without debt.”
Maxwell earned a bachelor of religion degree, and master of arts in Christian ministry leadership, master of religious education and a doctorate in Christian ministry leadership from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The generosity shown him played a big role in Maxwell’s life, especially when he didn’t know how his next class would be paid for.
“From this impact in my life, I knew it was my turn to give back and to help others generously,” he said.
About nine years ago God gave Maxwell a vision, which came with a long-lasting mission that would help many, Maxwell recalled.
“I knew this was something that was to be for the long haul and not something short-lived. After God set this vision burning in my heart, I spent several years praying over it, strategically researching and assessing all that was needed to be in place to make this vision come to implementation.”
His vision became a reality as he formed the Maxwell Christian Scholarship Fund to help those struggling with educational goals.
“Just over four years ago I was able to see the vision come to completion as this scholarship fund became a real thing,” Maxwell said. “I think this scholarship has hit several milestones over its first four years of life that have had many big impacts. Some include watching God join a community together each year to help raise funds for the scholarship [including] an annual golf tournament … .”
Maxwell explained that much of his strategic plan came from an Old Testament book.
“We see an amazing story through Nehemiah. God used him in a mighty way,” Maxwell said. “In short, Nehemiah was burdened for the people of Israel. God gave a great vision, Nehemiah fasted, he prayed, and through assessment he developed a strategic plan, he cast the vision and God gave Nehemiah the right people to help him see the vision to completion. When God gives the vision, He also strategically equips the leader with all that is needed to make it happen.”
The Maxwell Christian Scholarship Fund has awarded two international college scholarships, 16 in-state (NC) and 10 out-of-state. It also has donated funds to help several local elementary, middle and high schools purchase supplies and books for students, donated funds to help a local Baptist children’s home purchase school supplies and assisted with funding a local Fellowship of Christian Athletes group.
Grateful for assistance
One of the students blessed by the scholarship is Heather Jones.
“Words cannot express how grateful I am to have received the Maxwell Christian Scholarship,” she said. “This scholarship has helped me out immensely while getting my master’s in clinical mental health counseling by lightening my financial burden.
“I am so very thankful to have been given the opportunity to attend Liberty University, and it is only because of scholarships like this that I was able to continue pursuing this degree.”
It is with much prayer, Maxwell said, that the scholarship will help many more students in the future.
“The mission that will continue to carry this scholarship forward is biblical and simple: to help others by giving generously,” he said. “It is through this mindset that I hope this scholarship plays a big part in helping other students achieve the educational goals that God has placed before them.”
To learn more about the Maxwell Christian Scholarship Fund, or to donate, visit www.maxwellchristianscholarship.com.