Philip Turner joins Connie Maxwell as director of church engagement

Philip Turner, pastor of discipleship at First Baptist Church of Columbia, was appointed as director for church engagement at Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries. He began his new duties this month.

Turner has served nearly 25 years in church ministry across South Carolina. He has served at Columbia First Baptist since 2014 and previously was its middle school minister for four years. Earlier, Turner served as lead pastor at First Baptist Church of Wagener, student pastor at Catalyst Church and Hampton Heights Baptist Church, and worked as a student intern at Edwards Road Baptist Church, all in Greenville.

Danny Nicholson, president of Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries, believes Turner’s arrival is critical to achieving CMCM’s ambitious 10-year strategic plan, “A Decade of Dreams.”

“We are beyond excited to have Philip join the Connie Maxwell family,” Nicholson said. “He will play a valuable role in helping us accomplish a broad spectrum of engagement to our South Carolina churches.”

Turner previously served on the board of trustees for Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries. “Like many, I grew up seeing the Connie Maxwell calendar on my grandmother’s kitchen cabinet and serving on campus while on a mission trip in high school,” Turner shared.

Being on the board has been a joyful experience for Turner. “Every time I leave the CMCM campus following a board meeting, I am fired up about what the Lord is doing. I would call my wife and tell her all about it,” Turner said. “After being in the same room with Danny and seeing the clear vision of where he wants CMCM to go, it’s clear he will honor the Lord and CMCM’s history as he seeks to fulfill the ministry’s vision and help the dreams of children and families come true,” he said.

Jay Boyd, senior vice president for strategy and engagement, believes Turner’s new role helps build upon the 130-year history of church support. “From prayer warriors and volunteer groups to financial support, South Carolina Baptists have always been leaders in helping children and families receiving care at Connie Maxwell,” Boyd said. “We aim to build on this foundation.

“We want to equip and engage churches with meaningful opportunities to serve vulnerable children in their community and across the Palmetto State.” Boyd added. “Every church — regardless of size, style, or location — can make an impact, and Philip is an ideal candidate to lead this important initiative.”

Turner stated, “I’m excited to start meeting with pastors and church leaders and share all that CMCM is doing. I want to develop a plan to help them equip and engage their congregations in the foster care ministry initiatives and highlight the other challenges we face at CMCM.”

A native of Florence, Turner is a two-time graduate of North Greenville University, earning a Bachelor of Christian Studies degree in 2004 and a Master of Christian Ministry degree in 2014. Ordained in 2008, Turner is in the final stages of his doctoral studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He is married to Emily Ann Winburn Turner, and they have three children, Manning, Wyatt, and Sally. They reside in Lexington.

— Sheila Price is vice president for marketing and communications at Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries.