Pastor Elijah B. Freeman, Jr. was born October 6, 1946, in John’s Island, South Carolina. He was the first-born son to Elijah B. and Ella York Freeman and third child of twelve siblings. On November 14, 2021, husband, father, friend, and fighter for freedom, justice, and equality, “E.B”, laid down his heavy burden to rest with the Lord.
Pastor Freeman was a “native of John’s Island, SC, grew up on the Island and was spiritually nurtured in Hebron United Presbyterian Church, attended Promise Land Elementary and Mt. Zion Elementary schools, and graduated in 1965 from Haut Gap High School. In May 1966, he ventured to Brooklyn, New York, with a short tenure and later returned to North Carolina in August 1966. He was the first of his church’s long history of 100 years to attend college. He was the first and only pastor/minister from the Hebron United Presbyterian Church. He began his higher educational pursuits by matriculating at Kittrell College, Kittrell, NC, where he received his Associate of Science Degree in business education. He received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Barber-Scotia College, Concord, NC, and his Master of Divinity Degree in theological and pastoral studies from Johnson C. Smith Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA.” He completed post graduate studies at Columbia Seminary, Decatur, GA, and ITC. His pastorate expanded “37 years; 13 years at Dulatown United Presbyterian Church and 23 years 3 months at St Paul Presbyterian Church (USA), High Point, NC, one year at Trinity and Bethlehem United Presbyterian Churches, Sumter, SC. During his tenure at St. Paul, he managed to lead the congregation into a new membership growth and secured a facility with the purchase of 7.3 acres of land and help construct a fellowship hall for church worship and a place for special events. He also was employed with High Point Housing Authority as a community coordinator for their residents. He worked as a substitute teacher in the Guilford County Schools system for four years.” He was president of the NAACP branches of Caldwell County and High Point for a combined time of over 15 years and served in several leadership positions in civic and religious organizations. One of his greatest achievements was when he founded, organized, and directed the Dulatown Presbyterian Outreach Center in Lenoir, NC, in 1982. The name has since changed to Dulatown Outreach Center and is a 501 (c) 3 private non-profit corporation that provides ministries of human services for working parents with minor and dependent children, as well as shelter, training, and transportation for women and mothers with minor children.
Elijah enjoyed serving people in all phases of life with integrity and persistence. He made plans for life’s end in the summer 2014, was hospitalized in the fall, baptized his grandson in November, and traveled to Los Angeles, California with the Interfaith Affairs Committee, in December. In January 2015, he suffered a massive stroke that took his speech and limited his mobility. For almost 7 years, he lived disabled but determined, bent but not broken, slow but steady forward. His words testify to how he lived. “You see, I was seasoned in God’s word to the end that I would say this about the storms, ‘If the storm didn’t cease, and if the winds kept on blowing in my life, my soul’s been anchored in the Lord! I remember throughout my ministry the story of the apostle Paul and his shipwreck experience, when the storm was raging the order was to stay on the ship, don’t bale out, but stay put and ride it out…”
Pastor Freeman was preceded in death by his parents, Elijah B. Freeman, Sr, and Ella York Freeman; sisters Francis E. Freeman, Barbara Jean Freeman, and Catherine Joanna Freeman-Greene; and brother Felder Bobby Freeman.
Pastor Freeman leaves to cherish his memories and continue his legacy, his wife, Delores B. Freeman; son, Dr. Steven C. Freeman-Muhammad (Dr. Maisha); six sisters, Nancy F. Hipp (Thomas), Artha Mae F. Smith, Evelynn F. Singleton, Mary F. Bonneau (William), Kathleen F. Smith, Jacquelyn F. Smith; one brother, George Freeman, Sr. (Esther); three grandchildren, Akilah, Tiye, and Micaiah Freeman; seven godchildren, Rashaad Medley, Tabitha Jones, Isaiah Knight, Dr. Naeema Burgess, Ricqueshia Burgess, Shamika Archie, and Sherrie Archie; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other loving relatives and caring friends, all of whom will miss him dearly.
A Celebration of Life will be given at 9:30am on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at the St. Paul Presbyterian Church, 309 Summit Avenue, High Point, NC. Family visitation from 9:00am to 9:30am. Burial will follow at Garden of Columbia, 9301 Wilson Blvd., Columbia, SC.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to Dulatown Outreach Center, Inc. and Kwanza a Family in Caldwell County, PO Box 679, Lenoir, NC 28645.