NAACP Celebrates the Life of Rev. Dr. Bowyer Gates Freeman

(BALTIMORE – January 5, 2021) – It is with tremendous sadness that we share that our leader and brother, the Reverend Dr. Bowyer Gates Freeman transitioned from this life on the morning of January 3rd and now rests with the ancestors. Dr. Freeman served as senior pastor of the New Saint Mark Baptist Church, chief financial officer for Community Partnerships for Public Health – International, and as a commissioner for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.

Reverend Kobi Little, president of the Baltimore NAACP, released the following statement:

“The Reverend Dr. Bowyer Freeman was a gift to humanity. We give thanks for the blessing that he was to Christendom. We are grateful for his years-long service to the NAACP. We celebrate Dr. Freeman’s life and will honor his legacy by continuing the work to which he set his hand – advancing equity, justice and health in pursuit of the beloved community. “I met Dr. Bowyer Freeman in the early 1990s. His contributions to Howard County, Baltimore City, and the State of Maryland are immeasurable. I was proud to call him my colleague, my pastor, my friend, and my elder brother. He was a stellar example of Black excellence and manhood. He was faithful to his calling and a true family man. He was selfless, courageous, tenacious, hardworking, and full of integrity. Dr. Freeman navigated life with princely mien and grace. He walked with kings yet never lost the common touch. Like so many others, I held him in the highest esteem. We offer our deepest condolences and never-ending love to the Freeman family, the New Saint Mark Baptist Church congregation, and the countless people who knew and loved Dr. Bowyer Freeman. Long live the spirit and memory of the Reverend Dr. Bowyer Gates Freeman.”

Funeral Arrangements

All services will be held at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services – Randallstown, 8728 Liberty Road, Randallstown, MD 21133

Saturday, January 15, 2022

1-2 pm Family viewing (immediate family, siblings, and spouses/partners)

2 – 5 pm Public Viewing

Sunday, January 16, 2022

9:10 – 9:30 am Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Omega Service

9:30 – 10 am Wake

10 am – Homegoing service

Interment at First Baptist Church of Guilford Cemetery (date TBD)

There will be a streamed service. The link will be posted on the Vaughn Greene site.

FOR THOSE ATTENDING, PROOF OF VACCINATION IS REQUIRED AS ARE MASKS.

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Dr. Freeman was a nationally respected faith leader and justice advocate. For decades he was a quiet, driving force in local, state, and national politics. Dr. Freeman was tireless in his commitment to the Lord’s work. Prior to being called to New Saint Mark, Dr. Freeman served at First Baptist Church of Guilford with the Rev. Dr. John Wright. Over the years he served in numerous capacities including as an international anti-hunger advocate at Bread for the World, director of pastoral care at Howard University Hospital, adjunct faculty at the Howard University School of Divinity, and vice president and chief financial officer for the United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland and the Maryland Baptist Aged Home.

A former chairman of the board at Associated Black Charities, Dr. Freeman was a public theologian who brought his faith to life and into action in the prophetic tradition. He was counselor and encourager to dozens of ministers, elected officials, business leaders, and community activists across the country.

Dr. Freeman was a long-time local and regional NAACP leader and past president of the Howard County Branch. Most recently he was one of the key architects of the resurgence of the Baltimore NAACP and served as treasurer and executive committee member for the past three years.

Dr. Freeman was a man of boundless love, compassion, generosity, and energy. Even in the face of personal health challenges, he was steadfast in service to the community. In response to the pandemic, Dr. Freeman led efforts to distribute masks and fresh produce boxes throughout Baltimore, chaired the Maryland Department of Health’s Black Communities Sub-Group, and co-founded the Maryland Health Equity Alliance, all while developing and guiding federal, state, and local COVID response collaborations.

Dr. Freeman was an intellectual giant and multidisciplinary thought leader. He earned a certificate in Community Building Strategies from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Dayton. Over a period of eighteen years, Dr. Freeman studied and conducted research at Howard University and graduated with an MBA, Master of Divinity, and Doctorate. His doctoral scholarship focused on “Theological and Ethical Dimensions of The Human Genome Project.”

Dr. Freeman was an entrepreneur and social impact investor and was a founder and principal of the African American Clergy Medical Research Initiative and the president of Turner-Wilson Consulting. He was a statesman of the highest order who had an amazing and impactful career at the intersections of faith, academia, healthcare, business, public policy, and community and economic development. A life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Dr. Freeman was a connector and motivator who created community with people of diverse backgrounds wherever he was.