Tom Maxwell devotes much of life to prison ministry
Boonville resident Tom Maxwell was recently featured in an article in the Prison Fellowship Ministries publication for his prison ministry.
Maxwell was named the first volunteer Missouri State Director of the Prison Fellowship Programs in 2012.
Maxwell's prison ministry began after friend Chuck Colson introduced the idea to him. Colson had a big influence on Maxwell's life, even his surrender to Jesus Christ according to the article.
Maxwell responded to Colson's message and 30 years ago began his first ministry at the Lorton Youth Correctional Complex in Fairfax County, Virginia. Maxwell said he departed the prison complex with the total realization that 'there but for the grace of God go I.'
In 1992, Maxwell along with his wife Betty Ann, moved back to Boonville to be closer to family. While Boonville had a correctional facility, Maxwell began to to get involved with area and state prison ministries.
Maxwell assisted churches across the state, including Boonville's own Nelson Memorial Methodist Church, to set up ministries.
“Tom has been a Christian friend of mine since he and Betty began attending the Methodist Church here in Boonville. I've worked as a volunteer for many years with Tom for several public service activities. I consider him to be a true mission oriented Christian and a believer in scripture, specifically Matthew 25:31-46,” close friend Jack Bell said.
Each year, Maxwell donates hundreds of hours to assist in a program which allows inmates in good standing at the Boonville Correctional Facility to participate in projects outside of the fenced-in facility.
A different week-long project occurs each year in Boonville. For the last seven years the projects have included a partnership with the Central Missouri Methodist Baseball Team who assist the project alongside the inmates.
This year the project included landscaping the back grounds of the Katy Depot.
Once the project is completed the participants celebrate with a dinner and dedication service.
“This is restorative justice in action,” Maxwell told the report.
According to the report there are 21 individuals serving as Volunteer State Directors.