The Reverend Dr. Ricky Freeman is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Oliver S. Westcott Elementary School and Chicago Vocational High School, where he majored in music theory and piano. Dr. Freeman has earned the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts - Religion and Business Administration, Bishop College, Dallas, Texas (1980); Clinical Pastoral Education Certificate - Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (1983); Master of Divinity - Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois (1984); Doctor of Ministry - Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Illinois (June 2002).
Dr. Freeman received his "call" to the ministry in 1975, when he was sixteen years old. He was licensed at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. At age twenty-two, he was ordained to preach the Gospel by the late Dr. Luke Mingo of the Morning Star Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. Following his ordination, Dr. Freeman was appointed Assistant Pastor. In 1984, Dr. Freeman was elected as Pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of Joliet, Illinois, where he served for eleven and a half years. In October 1995, he was elected Pastor of Saint John Church-Baptist in Chicago where he served until September, 2012. Ebenezer Baptist Church voted to elect him as pastor on July 30, 2012. He began his pastoral duties at Ebenezer on September 23, 2012.
While at Saint John Church-Baptist, he led his congregation in the development of Mission Statement and Core Values which resulted in establishment of significant ministries within the church. These ministries include: Seniors, Youth, Children, Couples, Performing Arts and Computer Tutoring. Under his leadership, an Evangelism Ministry was initiated with focus on reaching the unsaved. Also noteworthy is his establishment of the Saint John Church-Baptist Institute for Bible Study and Spiritual Growth. Dr. Freeman initiated the Saint John Church-Baptist Community Outreach Organization and led the congregation to acquire additional property to expand outreach.
Dr. Freeman has been very active in the field of theological education. At Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, he served as Affiliate Professor of Ministry from 2006-2008 and most recently as Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology. Over the years, he has functioned as Field Education Supervisor at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, McCormick Theological Seminary; Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute and as Case Conference Supervisor at Chicago Theological Seminary.
Dr. Freeman's associational involvement has included several noteworthy assignments such as Moderator of Lebanon Baptist District Association from 1987 to 1992; Treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Illinois from 2002 to 2006; and Chairperson, Mission Partnership Committee, American Baptist Churches – Metro Chicago from 2005 to 2007.
Since 1981, he has been married to his charming wife, the former Zenodie Carmen Gilot, a native of Jacmel, Haiti. They are the proud parents of four children: Regine Carmen, Brendan Alexander; and a set of twins, Christophe Davide and Chantal Gabrielle.