Our Pastor

Reverend Melvin M. Maxwell serves as the Senior Pastor of East Friendship Baptist Church in Washington, DC.  He is a disciple-making Pastor whose passion is touching the heart of God and God’s people.  East Friendship is a church with a rich heritage of prophetic preaching, dynamic worship, and social justice.  Pastor and People are determined to be a ‘community church making a world of difference.’  This is accomplished by each congregant maximizing their spiritual gifts, serving Christ, Community, Church, and collaborating with other persons with Kingdom vision. 
Prior to East Friendship, Rev. Maxwell served as the Assistant to the Senior Minister for Men, Children and Youth, at the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC, under the leadership of the Senior Minister and Servant, Rev Dr. H. Beecher Hicks Jr.  He developed holistic ministries that empowered men, children, teens, singles, and couples to seek their purpose and destiny in and for God.  He was one of the primary pastoral care and counseling ministers of the church and also served as Minister to Community Outreach and Evangelism.
Rev. Maxwell has served five pastors in 25 years of ministry. He has been a consultant for many churches across denominational and ethnic lines in designing and implementing cutting edge youth ministries and dynamic models of marriage, young adult, HIV/AIDS, and outreach ministries. He has worked with the judicial and foster care systems of New York, District of Columbia and Maryland to speak to concerns and issues relevant to the incarceration, rehabilitation and transformation of inner city teens.  He has trained numerous youth, young adults, pastors, lay persons and youth workers throughout the country.
In October 1985, while stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, Rev. Maxwell was called to the gospel ministry and appointed Youth Minister at the Base Chapel.  He later became the Youth Minister, Regional Youth Director, and Assistant to the Pastor at the Bethel Tabernacle Holy Church in Buffalo, New York led by Rev. Dr. Joseph Chavis.  He was ordained at the First Shiloh Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Leslie D. Braxton and given the creative freedom to design and implement men, youth, and economic empowerment ministries that produced committed disciples for Christ.  In collaboration with the late Dr. B.W. Smith, Past President of Progressive Baptist Convention, Rev. Maxwell was instrumental in the establishment of the St. John Christian Academy in Buffalo, NY.

Rev. Maxwell is a preacher, evangelist, and servant of God whose unique gifts foster constructive dialogue to find new ways to minister holistically to the African American family.  He is a ‘Pastor-preneur’ investing in people and developing entrepreneurs. He was CEO/President of two successful multi-state businesses and non-profits ministries.  He has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Southern Illinois University with minor degrees in Social Science and Contract Management.  He earned his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary.

Rev. Maxwell is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and is the son of Dolores Maxwell and the late Clarence Maxwell.  He is married to the former Cherry A. Pilgrim and they are the proud parents of Maurice, Mikaela, and Mariah, and grandparents to Madisyn.