The Old Church
“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?”
Isaiah 66:1 KJV
A “Patrick Street” unforgettable moment was the naming of the church. Mr. Gus Rowell, the treasurer, stated that “the membership should have the freewill to tithe any amount of money they wish”. At that very moment, the name “Freewill” was chosen as the name of the church.
The Naming of the Church
Over four decades ago, it all began as “house to house” worshipping every Sunday until it was decided that the Freewill seed be planted at 2243 Patrick Street, in Montgomery, on November 29, 1965. Reverend J.D. Covington preached the first sermon. A “Patrick Street” unforgettable moment was the naming of the church. Mr. Gus Rowell, the treasurer, stated that “the membership should have the freewill to tithe any amount of money they wish”. At that very moment, the name “Freewill” was chosen as the name of the church. Another memorable moment was the first baptism of 29 candidates at Mr. Jerry McQueen’s swimming pool on Ajax Street.
In 1966, a celebratory groundbreaking ceremony took place on the corner of Roosevelt and Hill Streets. That same year, after months of prayer, patience and trusting God, the church accepted a Shepherd willing to feed God’s sheep. The late Reverend R.V. Harrison became the Freewill’s first pastor. On March 5, 1967, Freewill Missionary Baptist Church family was led in a march from 2243 Patrick Street to 2201 Roosevelt Street by Reverend R.V. Harrison.
Rev. Edward J. Nettles, Sr. accepted as the third pastor.
On February 10, 1985, Reverend Manning Perkins was accepted as the second pastor of Freewill and served until November 1990. On November 18, 1990, Pastor Edward J. Nettles, Sr. was sent to Freewill to begin his ministry. History has it clearly written that Pastor Nettles “left no stones unturned!” With the Lord being on his side, souls were served each week from the books of John, Luke, Psalms, Galatians, Exodus, Matthew, Isaiah, and other books from the New and Old Testaments until the Lord, through Pastor Nettles, pulled the members together as a family! Reverend Manning Perkins resigned on February 9, 1992. On February 22, 1992, Pastor Nettles was accepted as the third pastor of Freewill Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Nettles was installed as Pastor on March 29, 1992.
On July 1993, the church celebrated its second groundbreaking ceremony at 1724 Hill Street. On Saturday, December 11, 1993, the Pre Dedication was held. On Sunday, December 12, 1993, the Dedication of Freewill Missionary Baptist Church took place!
On January 19, 1997, Freewill celebrated its third groundbreaking ceremony also at 1724 Hill Street. The first sermon was given on September 14, 1997, by our own Pastor Edward J. Nettles, Sr.!
On April 19, 2009, Freewill celebrated its fourth groundbreaking ceremony at 1724 Hill Street. Through it all, we remained steadfast in our mission to serve our Lord and bring others to Christ.
We are remembering that through Christ “All things are possible!”