FIRST UNITED MEHODOGIST CHURCH OF URBANA
304 South Race Street, (Next to Lincoln Square Mall)
MEET OUR DIRECTING PASTOR
Rev. Robert K. Freeman, B.S., M-Divinity, M-Urban Ministry, 2012, D-Min Cohort, is a native of Claymont, Delaware, one of seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Nellie Small and Howard David Freeman, Sr. He has been the recipient of many scholastic and civic honors, including ‘Athlete of the Year’, which allowed him to finish his last two years of High School with Honors. He graduated in 1980 from Delaware State College, Dover, Delaware, where he received a Ralston Purina Academic Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Agriculture. He continued his academic pursuit by matriculating at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he majored in Pastoral Studies and Urban Ministries. In 1985, he received his Master of Divinity Degree. In 2012, he began his work towards the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Aquinas Institute of Theology/Saint Louis University, in Saint Louis, Missouri. His theological focus was in the field of preaching and church History.
Rev. Freeman was licensed as a local minister on August 5, 1978 at the, Saint Matthews Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Upper Chichester, Pennsylvania, under the pastorate of the Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Hayes. He was ordained in 1985 at Phillips Chapel C. M. E. Church on June 21st by the Late Bishop Nathaniel Lindsey. Pastor Freeman was granted full connectional standing in the United Methodist Church through the former Central Illinois Conference by Bishop Woodie W. White in 1989.
In the fall of 1977, Pastor Freeman became the president of the Wesley Foundation at Delaware State College, Dover Delaware, under the advisement of the Late Rev. Clayton Hammond. He was able to form small groups, a vibrant discipleship ministry, and weekly worship services on campus. This time in his life was the formation of his commitment to Wesleyan principals and the work of discipleship. While at Delaware State College he was mentored by Dr. Crawford Loritts, Hamon Cross, the Late Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, and various others to an effort to reach Black America with the message and love of Jesus Christ.
Believing that our love for Jesus should never be separated from our passion for Justice, Pastor Freeman engaged himself in the struggle for Human Rights through numerous agencies, which most recently include serving as President of the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield and Vicinity, Springfield, Illinois; Board Member of Illinois People’s Action; Board Commissioner with the Community Development Commission, Urbana, Illinois; Member of the Champaign-Urbana Ministerial Alliance; Board Member of the Behavioral Health Board with Memorial Health Systems, Springfield, Illinois; Member of the N.A.A.C.P.; and member of the North Central Jurisdictional Black Methodist for Church Renewal of the United Methodist Church.
Discipleship is key for the life and ministry of Pastor Freeman. Since 1978 he has actively discipled 5-10 persons every year. He has many individuals who are in active Christian ministry or in some field of ministry using the principles taught to them to effectively carry the Gospel across the world.
He is married to Felecia P. Freeman, and has two children, Clarissa Freeman and Prentice Freeman. They also have many persons whom they have impacted whom they call their children as well. Their children are making an impact of the public, private, and faith communities around the world.