Retired pastor and wife continue to minister

William H. Freed Jr. and Susan Freed

William H. Freed Jr. and Susan Freed

April 29, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

Studying to be a mechanical engineer in Baltimore in the 1950s, William H. Freed Jr. didn't realize at the time just how dramatically his life direction would change after he was saved in Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren.

Although the changes in his life came gradually, they were nonetheless leading him toward a religious life and away from being a draftsman.

"I gave up a good job as a design engineer because I didn't want the legacy of just building truck transmissions," Bill said.

Now retired as senior pastor of Broadfording Bible Brethren Church, Bill was the founder and first president of what is now Antietam Bible College, seminary and graduate school.


"I started teaching Sunday school while I was studying for my license to preach," Bill said.

While still working at Mack Trucks, he served a little church in Allensville, W.Va.

Bill met his future wife, Susan, a few years earlier at an ice cream parlor in Baltimore. A Hagerstown native, Susan was at the time teaching home economics in Towson, Md., and Bill was in night school.

"We dated a year and then we came back to Hagerstown and were married in 1957," Susan said.

Bill and Susan came to Broadfording Bible Brethren Church in 1966 - the same year their daughter Tammy was born, joining her twin brothers, Timothy and Thomas, who were then 2 years old. The Freeds' youngest son, Danny, came along in 1977.

Susan was music and choir director of the church for all 40 of those years that Bill was in the pulpit.

Together, the Freeds developed an active visitation program, a number of children's activities, a Jolly 60s group for seniors and an innovative bus ministry.

"Some weeks we would run six to 10 buses every Sunday," Susan said. "In the summer, we would have to borrow buses for vacation Bible school."

Bill said all those efforts served to bring people in who needed to feel God in their lives.

"You do good for people and you don't know how much you affect them," he said.

The church has been in its present building since 1970. The old church building was pressed into service as a preschool. Over the years, the academy began and then the college, the seminary and finally the graduate school.

"These buildings are used every day of the week," Bill said.

Susan said they hear from a lot of their graduates, many of whom are serving churches all over the country and others who are missionaries in foreign lands.


Names: William H. Freed Jr. and Susan Freed

Hometown: Hagerstown

Occupation: Serving God through words, music and the education of future generations.

What was your proudest moment?: Bill said it was the 40th anniversary of his service to Broadfording Bible Brethren Church; Susan said it was becoming a parent.

Whom do you most admire, and why?: Bill said Jesus Christ because "Everything centers around him because he is No. 1.

Susan said "Bill Freed, because he is my life."

What is the best piece of advice you ever received and who gave it to you?: Bill said it was to care about the souls of people because of the brevity of life, from Billy Graham. Susan said her father told her, "if you get anything in life, get common sense. I learned later he was talking about the wisdom that is spoken of in the Bible."

What is the next goal you would like to achieve?: Bill's is "to see our church and all our ministries continue to flourish.

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