Things You May or May Not Know
About Pastor Sammie
Our interim pastor is Rev. Sammie Maxwell. She grew up in northeast Georgia in the town of Tallulah Falls, known for the beautiful, three-miles-long, thousand-footdeep Tallulah Gorge, which is the most visited state park in Georgia. It is famous for the aerialist Karl Wallenda's walk across it back in 1971.
As a youth, Sammie was active in the MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) on the local and district levels. In high school, she participated in a church-sponsored trip to the United Nations— an event that made her an activist for both world peace and youth involvement in the church.
At the University of Georgia, Sammie was active in the Wesley Foundation. She graduated with an A.B. in sociology and a pre-professional in social work. Before becoming an ordained clergyperson, she taught kindergarten briefly and then took a position as a field advisor for the Girl Scouts of America with the responsibility of recruiting and training volunteers. She then transferred to New Orleans for a special assignment of aiding in the racial integration of Girl Scout troops. After two years in this job, she was hired as the Assistant to the Director of Metropolitan Ministries—an organization formed to facilitate the merger of the two racially-segregated Louisiana Conferences of the Methodist Church.
After marrying Russ and moving to New England, Sammie earned a Master of Urban Affairs degree at Boston University and later taught Introduction to Sociology and Social Problems at Curry College while completing a Master of Divinity degree at B.U. School of Theology. She was then ordained an Elder in Full Connection in the former Southern New England Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Sammie served as pastor of St. Paul's UMC in Ludlow, Massachusetts (near Springfield). After eight years there, she served the United Methodist Parish, which consisted of three churches in Massachusetts and one in Rhode Island, and then for one year at Charlton City and Southbridge, Massachusetts and another three years in Charlton City. After twenty-four years in New England, she returned to north Georgia to care for her Mom for what she hoped would be a short time. After seven years, her mother died and she stayed on to be with her mother's "baby" sister, who had a stroke. While in Georgia, she served Antioch UMC and Tiger UMC a quarter-time each. For one year, she was Director of Senior Ministries as an associate pastor at the Clayton United Methodist Church. During all the years in Georgia, she kept her membership in the New England Conference, where Russ has his membership. After her aunt's death, she returned to New England to serve another eight years as a full-time pastor at Contoocook United Methodist Church near Concord, New Hampshire.
Sammie and Russ returned to Georgia in 2011 to live in a house that belonged to her aunt. During her first year there, she studied with Dr. Fred Craddock of the Craddock Center in Cherry Log, Georgia. Dr. Craddock's dream was for someone to travel the rural areas teaching preaching classes to those ministers who were unable to attend seminary. However, Sammie was able to do only a few of these workshops before Dr. Craddock's sudden death. When in Georgia, Sammie frequently substitute preaches, and she and Russ taught Disciple Bible Study for four years at the church where they worship when in Georgia. In 2017, Sammie served a brief interim as Senior Pastor at 5 Clemson United Methodist Church in Clemson, South Carolina. As most of you know, she also served from August 2018 through June 2019 as an interim here at Church on the Cape. Bishop Devadhar has appointed Sammie to this church once again, this time for a two-year interim. Both she and Russ are excited to be back in New England, where their conference memberships are held and delighted to be back at Church on the Cape.
Sammie and Russ are living in the clergy retirement village, Wesley by the Sea, operated by the Preachers' Aid Society, rather than in the parsonage. Once settled, they hope to invite those wishing to visit their home at 54 Charles Wesley Court in Wells.
Sammie's first official Sunday to preach is July 3. The SPRC encourages everyone to attend in-person to welcome her back to the pulpit. After worship, Sammie and Russ will host what they call "Southern Treats." Come and see what surprises they provide for us.
- Written by Sandy Day Staff-Parish Relations Committee Chair, July, 2022