• revmaxwellOur Founder, Reverend Fred Maxwell, was born August 2nd, 1907 in Williston, Florida. The son of a preacher, he grew up listening to his father’s religious stories. As a child, Fred aspired to become a lawyer. This dream was put aside, when he married Janie Moore in June of 1929, a union which brought about six children.

    Along with being a husband and father, Rev. Maxwell began assisting in pastoring at Mount Zion Baptist Church in 1946. Since that time, Reverend Maxwell pastored various other Florida churches and established organizations including the Rainbow Investment Club and the United Brethren. During this time, Rev. Maxwell was also a tireless, and respected activist against racial segregation.

    After 54 years of marriage and six children, his wife, Janie, passed on. Despite his loss, Rev. Maxwell continued on and in 1985, he remarried Norweida Williams and was granted a Doctor of divinity degree from the United Bible College.

    Rev. Maxwell’s desire was to create housing for the many homeless individuals he so frequently encountered. In 1991, an article was published in the local newspaper about his desire to develop such housing. A local lawyer, Helaine Blum, happened upon the article, and sharing his desire to serve the community, promptly contacted him. Shortly thereafter in April of 1992, Grand Ave. Economic Community Development Corp (GAECDC) was formed, and by November of 1996, 75 single-room occupancy units were made available. Since that year, we have developed over 750 safe, affordable housing units.

    Rev. Maxwell served as the Board Chair from our incorporation in 1992 until his passing in December of 2005. It goes without saying that he is greatly missed.

    “We are still dreaming.” – Rev. Fred L. Maxwell

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