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In the pulpit

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POSTED: October 2, 2007 5:04 a.m.
Judson L. Maxwell, pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Hinesville, came to this area while serving in the military, and decided to remain after retirement.
“I retired in 1995 and started working with the Liberty County school system in 1995,” he said.
A native of Thomasville, he served 21 years in the military and retired as a warrant officer. He is a Desert Storm veteran who served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He also spent time in Okinawa, Korea and Panama.
Maxwell has been a licensed minister for five years and has served as pastor of Westside since July 2006. Prior to assuming the pastorship, he served as interim pastor for six months.
He said Westside is gradually growing, both spiritually and physically.
“The aim is to have a healthy church. I want to see people grow and be used in their talents and gifts. I like people,” Maxwell said.
Some renovation has occurred in the church.
“We are revitalizing the heartbeat of the church. The church has to encourage new members to become involved. You don’t want them to just sit and do nothing.”   
Westside is more than a half a century old, and celebrated its church anniversary the first Sunday in July. The church has a soup kitchen, Feed My Lambs, as part of its outreach to the community. The kitchen is open 4-6 p.m. every Saturday. About seven people are served each week.
“Westside Baptist is an open, loving church,” the pastor said.  
Maxwell is inspired when he is able to connect God’s Word to people.
“God’s Word has the answers. I like to present the Word in a simple way so people can understand. I want to share what God has given me,” he said.
Maxwell credits Dr. Jim Elliott with having a profound impact on his ministry.
“He is the director of Mission for the Sunbury Baptist Association,” he said.
Maxwell’s advice to pastors is to know their people.
“You must love them. I know when someone is absent because I know the seat they sit in. When they return from illness or vacation, they will be in their same seat,” he said.
Besides being a busy pastor, Maxwell works full-time with the Liberty County school system as a computer specialist. He has worked with the Sunbury Baptist Association and participates in the Hinesville mayor’s annual Thanksgiving service. He also loves to rebuild computers, work in his yard, do car maintenance and brick work.
His wife, Cheryl, is a native of Pittsburgh. They have been married for 28 years and live in Midway. They have two children and one grandson, Jonas.
Cheryl Maxwell serves as one of the teachers for the children’s Sunday school class, head of hospitality and works with the soup kitchen.  
Westside has Sunday service at 11 a.m., with Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. Sunday evening service is at 6.
“During the evening service, we have praise and worship and a short message. If you don’t have a Sunday evening service, feel free to come and worship with us,” Maxwell said.
Bible Study is at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
“We are a church that preaches the Bible as it is straight Scripture,” he said. 
 

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