FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Guinell Freeman, a distinguished alumna at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and longtime educational director at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., died Dec. 19.
“Guinell Freeman was the role model par excellence for women serving in ministry,” Southwestern Seminary president Paige Patterson said. “Sweet, courageous, doctrinally sound, humble, creative, in total support of her pastors, soul-winner, educator—dear me, is there anything that this precious saint of God didn’t do right?  We love her and will miss her profoundly.”
Jerry Vines, former pastor of FBC, Jacksonville, said, “Guinell Freeman was without question the greatest educational director of our times. She set the pace for Sunday schools all over the nation. Her deep commitment to the Lord Jesus surpassed her gifts in Christian education.”
Mac Brunson, senior pastor of FBC, Jacksonville, commented on Twitter, “One of God’s choicest servants has gone home—Guinell Freeman. She was a (Sunday school) and organizational genius. She could do the work of 10 men!”
Freeman, 83, was born on Oct. 15, 1928, in Hickory, N.C. at 10 years of age, she professed faith in Christ and sensed that God was calling her to the ministry. Six years later, she left home to attend Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., and at 23 years of age she enrolled at Southwestern Seminary, where she earned her Master of Religious Education in 1954.
Upon her graduation from the seminary, Freeman was invited by Homer Lindsay Sr. to join the ministry staff at FBC, Jacksonville. She served as educational director at the church from 1954 until her retirement in 1999. At the time of her retirement, she oversaw 13 women’s Sunday school departments, and during her ministry the church’s Sunday school department grew from 1,100 to 6,600.
Freeman was preceded in death by her three sisters: Betty Herman, Beady Seymour and Saundra Askew. She was survived by her nieces and nephews, who said that Freeman was like a mother to them and that she took responsibility in leading them to faith in Christ: Bill Herman, Patricia Cherry and Jessica Dixon (Betty’s children); Iris Seymour and Sue Steffan (Beady’s children); and Jesse, Paul and David Askew (Saundra’s children).
A funeral service will be held in the Ruth Lindsay Auditorium at FBC, Jacksonville, at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27, preceded by a visitation from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Pastor Mac Brunson will officiate.