Rev. Dr. G. Ross Freeman
The Rev. Dr. G. Ross Freeman, age 93, of Conyers, died Monday, July 3, 2017, at The Magnolias assisted living facility following an extended illness. A Service of Committal for the family was held on Friday, July 7. The Reverend Randall Smith and Pastor Stephen Posey, Jr. officiated. Pallbearers were the grandsons. A Memorial Service followed at Statesboro First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Jimmy Cason officiating.
Dr. Freeman was born in Stillmore to Lester and Ollie Ross Freeman. He grew up in Tennille, graduating from Tennille High School. He was educated at Mercer (1940-43), Oglethorpe (Bachelors), Emory (Masters), and LaGrange (Doctorate).
Dr. Freeman was a United Methodist minister for 52 years before his retirement in 1993. He served as Macon City Missionary (beginning when a student at Mercer at age 17), the Darien Circuit (at age 19), the Baxley Circuit, the Woodstock Circuit, as Director of the 13-state, interdenominational and inter-racial Church Development Program, as Associate Dean for Administration and Director of Supervised Ministry at Candler School of Theology for 15 years. Then, beginning in June 1969, he was Pastor of Statesboro First United Methodist Church. Dr. Freeman was Superintendent of the Macon District and then Executive Secretary of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Council on Ministries for 10 years, followed by 7 years as Editor of the Wesleyan Christian Advocate, the statewide newspaper of United Methodists. He had a world-wide reputation as a leader in his denomination and was recognized as a dynamic preacher and spiritual mentor to many.
Dr. Freeman was predeceased by his parents and three brothers: Lester Monroe, Maynard and Ramus. He and his wife Bess (who died in 2010) had three children, nine grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Their daughter, Joye Hancock, a retired teacher living in Eatonton; son, the Reverend Dr. George R. Freeman, Jr. (Peggy-Ann) is “Retired Supply” Pastor of Mt. Zion UMC, Ellenwood, GA; daughter, Merrie, is married to the Reverend Steve Posey, now “Retired Supply” Pastor of Hopewell UMC, Glennville. Also surviving him is his sister, Catherine (Charles) Orr of Tennille and brother, Oran (Sara) Freeman of Riverdale, and sisters in law, Martha Freeman of Knoxville, TN and Betty Freeman of Tennille.