By Gary Mitchell
Pastor Jim Maxwell has set at least two goals since assuming the pastorate of Portales’ Trinity Family Center.
His primary goal is spiritual — to reach more people for Christ, especially among the younger crowd.
“One of our greatest goals is to reach younger people,” the 50-year-old pastor said. “My wife (Anita) does the praise-and-worship and leads the music. The music has changed some to attract the younger people. We also want to do all we can to minister to college students who move here away from home.”
Maxwell’s second goal is more personal — to test out the local fishing spot.
“I have found the one fishing hole here, and I hope I can experience it,” he said.
Maxwell and his wife moved to Portales after a stint as a full-time evangelist based in Fort Worth, Texas, the last five years. Prior to that, he pastored Radiant Life Christian Center there for 12 years.
Toward the end of his Fort Worth pastorate, Maxwell conducted what was to be a four-day revival meeting in Haskell, Texas, which extended to 25 weeks.
That initiated his evangelistic ministry.
“It was a good revival,” he said. “The next one went 21 weeks, and we had many extended times during our evangelistic ministry.”
In January, however, Maxwell and his wife “began to sense it was time for a change,” and by the end of March, began to seek a pastorate.
“Many (churches) that wanted us to come, we didn’t feel right about,” he said. “But the moment we drove into the parking lot here, we sensed this was the right place. We’re so sure we’re in the right place, it’s amazing.”
Meanwhile, since the leaving of the previous pastor, the Rev. Larry and Nancy Veazy, the congregation voted to change the name of the church from First Assembly of God to Trinity Family Center, said Glen Fields, a deacon and Sunday school teacher.
“We decided to change the name, but we’re still affiliated with the Assemblies of God,” he said.
Church secretary Judy Williams said the decision was not an overnight one.
“We had talked about it for two years,” she said. “During that two years, people had submitted names they liked. We actually voted on the top four or five names on April 27. We had a special-called business meeting at that time. The majority was for it. We felt we needed a new image. After all, it only changed our name — not our beliefs.”
Maxwell was elected pastor on Father’s Day, June 15.
“They had changed the name of the church before we came,” he said. “The people here are excited. They have a great vision for the future, and they’re willing to change. They told me they’re willing to do whatever it takes to reach out to new people.”
Fields said he and others in the church are “very pleased” with the new pastor and wife team.
“He has an enthusiasm about him we haven’t had in the recent past,” he said. “And his wife is a very talented musician. She leads the praise and worship — and does an excellent job.”
“They (the church members) really like him,” she said. “We loved our former pastors (the Veazys). We hated to see them go. They felt it was God’s timing, and we believe God sent this man and his wife to pick up where they left off.”