Skip to main content

Jason Shope loves Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries. He was first introduced to what God was doing in the lives of children and families at the Greenwood campus by his pastor, who invited him to be a part of a cottage renovation project. The team’s goal was to honor a church member’s last request – “don’t forget about Connie Maxwell,” a place where she had lived for a time as a child.

Jason owns an automotive repair shop in Rock Hill but has a background in construction, so his giftedness was a perfect fit for the Robert Black Cottage renovation project. Covid delayed the team’s work, but that afforded Jason the opportunity to process the needs, enlist tradesmen and volunteers, and coordinate their housing. During a whirlwind week last summer, the 60-member team worked from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. to complete the renovation that included installing new fixtures, flooring, interior painting, and resurfacing tubs and sinks.

“It was unbelievable what we did in six days,” Jason recalls. “The day I left from assessing the cottage I had no idea how many people would come and help me do this. I just knew there was a need and I was going to meet it.”

As a result of that experience, Jason’s sense of determination to meet needs at Connie Maxwell turned into a ministry calling. As he tells it, “God was talking to me that week. I have done many missions projects in different houses and churches, but never before has He pricked me the way that He did then. I couldn’t fall asleep at night because I was sensing God’s calling that Connie Maxwell was where He wanted me to be.”

A self-described “dreamer,” Jason says that in the weeks following the Robert Black renovation, Connie Maxwell remained on his mind. He met with President Danny Nicholson and proposed a vision that he and his church, Carolinas Cornerstone Church in Fort Mill, would coordinate short term volunteer teams to continue the renovation work around the Greenwood campus for the next 10 years to take what Connie Maxwell has and “just make it better.” The idea is to include as many churches as possible and volunteers of all ages – “as young as five and as old as 85,” Jason says.

The next project is the Dunbarton Building which, when complete, will house future volunteer teams. Jason is coordinating monthly crews of about 10- 15 people who are preparing Dunbarton ahead of a larger renovation team that’s slated to complete the building over the course of a week in July 2023. Adequate volunteer housing is a key element at this stage of the long-term renovation campaign so, in addition to Dunbarton, teams are also preparing several campus campsites.

“To know a child will walk into a clean, fresh house when they arrive at Connie Maxwell… nothing else matters at that point…”

“If you can get people to commit to giving a week of their time to serve, there must be places to stay and ways to feed the teams,” Jason explains, adding that last summer many volunteers paid for hotel rooms or campsites at Greenwood State Park, where his own family stayed during that project.

Team recruitment is another focus Jason has going forward, and churches as far away as Tennessee have already expressed interest in serving. “Who’s to say that in a few years we couldn’t have churches committed to come to Connie Maxwell for these projects every week during the summer months,” Jason dreams for the future. “Once Greenwood is up to par, we could go to other locations. A lot of things can be done once people are on board. The sky’s the limit.”

For his part, Dr. Nicholson recently told Board of Trustees members that Connie Maxwell isn’t “making progress unless we’re ministering to people. Jason’s story is a testimony of how God is working in people’s lives to do what needs to be done. It’s inspiring to me.”

Jason insists he’s “just one person, we all have a piece. It takes the entire crowd. But to know a child will walk into a clean, fresh house when they arrive at Connie Maxwell, and give them the confidence that they will be taken care of there – nothing else matters at that point,” Jason says.

Prior to the first cottage project, Jason didn’t know anything about Connie Maxwell, its history, or facilities. He was just obedient to the call God placed in his life to go and serve. Now he is excited to see how future projects will come together because “we know someone who can make it all happen – and it’s absolutely amazing.”

If your church or civic group is interested in volunteering on campus, contact Jules Thompson, Director of Volunteer Services at or visit