These days just about everyone knows their birthday and has a certificate to prove it. With churches, however, things can be a little different. Somewhere along the line, we can look back and say a church was born, but the exact day may be difficult to pin down.
So it is with The Freedom Fellowship Church. In 1975, our founders began discussions that led to the birth of the church, but we’re not sure what specific date to consider as our actual birthday. This we do know for sure: we have the original roll book, and on November 14, 1976, thirty-six people signed their names and were received into full membership.
Brought together by the idea that the Bible was meant to be taken seriously, this group of thirty-six started holding regular services at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center on Center Street in Ashland.
This group decided to call themselves The Freedom Fellowship Church to reflect their desire to be free from the constraints of a denomination with regard to how they should practice what the Bible teaches, and at the same time remember the ideals of Hanover County’s patriots whose efforts contributed so significantly to our nation’s independence.
Through hard work and personal sacrifice, in just two years the members raised enough money to purchase the church’s current property on Scotchtown Road in Montpelier. The building was formerly known as Yates Tabernacle (about which we know very little) and over the next few years the property was completely renovated, including the addition of a Sunday School wing.
The vision of those thirty-six pioneers has persisted for over forty years now. Not long ago, the current congregation adopted two statements that capture both the essence of the original vision and the heart of today’s members. The first statement describes what we believe we’re supposed to be doing:“The mission of The Freedom Fellowship Church is Translating the Bible into Life—to hear, understand and proclaim the Word of God, so as to become Christlike and introduce others to Christ.”
The second statement describes what we want to see result from our activities: “Our vision is to have Church on Earth as it is in Heaven: to be a growing congregation where people from all walks of life can become united in Christ, trusting Him for salvation and honoring Him with righteous living and loving worship.”
Our hope is that these statements will guide our congregation as we strive to remain faithful to the truth of the Bible and accomplish all the purposes God had in mind for us, from our founding, through our thirty plus year history, and into the future.