F. C. Maddox Center building served as an American Legion post from 1947–1963, then was empty for two years before reopening as the Frank C. Maddox Community Center, Athens’ first licensed daycare for African-American children, named for Greater Bethel’s pastor at the time. (The current pastor is the Rev. Karen Bennett.) Later, the late civil rights activist Evelyn Neely took it over under the Lyndon Johnson Administration’s Model Cities program."
Even as a day care, the building also served as a venue for a great deal of events and social gatherings, holding as many as 1,000 people. James Brown even performed there.
The Frank C. Maddox Center (formerly American Legion Post 535), on Magnolia Street. Once a major hub of African-American life in Athens, Greater Bethel AME Church is spearheading a campaign to remake this important piece of Athens heritage.
Nominator/Supporters: Tommie Farmer, Greater Bethel AME Church
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