It has been over a decade since a friend and I began participating in a local prison ministry. Over the years, we have seen several men come and go as far as commitment to the ministry is concerned. There was one man, however, whose faithful involvement with the ministry extended to over three decades.
For the first 20+ years, he was often times there when no one else was. Yet, he remained faithful, even to the point of shedding tears over the lack of partnership he had. On several occasions, he expressed to me his grief over not having more men involved with the prison ministry. Despite the inconsistency of others, he was determined to remain faithful for the sake of the gospel.
This man is Sam Freeman, who recently went home to be with the Lord at the tender age of 70. He is survived by a wife of over 40 years, a son and daughter, and several grandchildren. Not only that, he also leaves behind a legacy of men and women influenced by his passion for God’s Word and his love for the truth.
Whether it was through his teaching at The City Mission, his local church, his home Bible study, or the prison, multitudes have been greatly blessed by the biblical insights he shared with anyone who would listen. He was one of the most passionate followers of Christ I knew, and I consider it a privilege and honor to have known him as a friend, a brother, and even like a father. He was a blessing to me beyond just spiritual matters.
For example, when I decided to purchase a car from a personal owner many years ago, he was the person I took with me to examine it. Before I purchased my first home, he was the person I asked to come over to question and observe the home inspector. On one occasion, I needed help with a daunting project, and he made himself available to help me. When I was required to meet with a small group for a class assignment, he gladly offered to participate. In many ways, he was like the father I never had.
I want to be like Bro. Freeman: a man who was there when I needed him, who loved to help others in whatever way he could, who loved God and loved his family. I would give anything to spend another day with him, just to let him know how much he meant to me. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until I cross over to express my gratitude to him again. In the meantime, I will strive to be a faithful, passionate follower of Christ just like him, and continue the prison ministry he initiated many years ago.
Sam Freeman was one of the most loved, respected, and admired men that God has used in this world. He was a light to those around him, and I know he will be greatly missed. I look forward to seeing him again one day, and there, we will be able to rejoice together, not just for a few years, but for eternity.
Sam Freeman exemplified what it means to be a great man who leaves a great legacy. Thank you Lord for blessing us with him.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.