Agnes Hampton Maxwell was born in 1901. Her father built a white house on two acres on Glen Lily Road a few years later, right where Hope House’s new Ministry Center and Program Living for Women will be built. After leaving her childhood home as a newlywed, she and her husband boarded a ship heading to Brazil as missionaries in 1938. Sometime after arriving in Brazil, she was diagnosed with glaucoma. The Maxwells returned to the U.S. for Agnes’ surgery, but her husband was not happy with having to leave Brazil after such a short period on the mission field. He was resentful, and left her.
Abandoned and nearly blind, Agnes went back to school in her 40s, and eventually retired from a successful teaching career for the state of Kentucky. She returned to her childhood home on Glen Lily Road where she maintained the house and acreage alone. In 1975, a 4th-grade boy named Kelly Lawrence moved in next door and introduced himself to his new neighbor over the fence. Kelly and Agnes became friends, and he helped her with yard work, household tasks, and even transportation when he got older. At the young age of 18, Kelly married Trisha, and the two of them lived with Agnes for a period of time. Agnes became a fixture in the Lawrence family’s life, and the Lawrence children grew up calling her Aunt Agnes.
Aunt Agnes was a light in this community long before Hope House ever existed, and her legacy reaches far beyond her lifetime. Kelly and Trisha are now full-time missionaries with Borders Expanded Ministries in Honduras, where they’ve been since 2010. Hannah, one of the Lawrence children who is now married with children of her own, told us, “We knew her well, and I can say with confidence that she would be THRILLED to know that your ministry center will be built on the site where her home once stood… She was a well-educated, self-motivated, independent woman that greatly impacted my life, and it brings all of us so much joy to know that this land will impact the lives of women in the future.”