EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an expanded article based on the 2020 Cooperative Program Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information, please visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp.
Tom Freeman worked in banking and construction when, in 1988, he sensed God calling him into vocational ministry. He was 44.
After graduating from Dallas Baptist University in June 1990 and in December 1992 from Southwestern Seminary, he pastored in Iowa and Kansas. In 2005, he was called to Guymon, Grace Southern.
In January 2018, he was called to serve as interim associational missionary for the Panhandle Association and, in April of 2018, as interim director of Gibson Baptist Assembly, also known as Camp Gibson. “Interim” was removed from his titles in January 2020.
The association has 21 churches and the camp, about 30 acres.
“In our sense of purpose as an association we share a similar purpose as Oklahoma Baptists,” Freeman said. “(Hance) Dilbeck spoke at Guymon, First shortly after he became the new executive. I appreciated what he said, and his vision for Oklahoma Baptists. God used that to help our association find a new vision, a new sense of direction.”
Camp Gibson is in a basin, formed by two creeks that provide nourishment for cottonwood, elm and pecan trees. “We currently have four principal weeks of camp each year of around 100 campers each,” Freeman said. The rest of the year the camp is used for weddings, reunions, retreats, conferences and more.
At the center of Camp Gibson is a tabernacle reclaimed from its original use as a barn. Nearby is the dining hall, and cabins surround the camp’s perimeter.
“It’s always very special to realize how many people over the generations God has reached here through their camp experience,” Freeman said. “Many in the panhandles—both Texas and Oklahoma—are familiar with the camp as a place they revere from their childhood.”
Freeman and his wife, Karen, have two grown children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He hasn’t golfed for 12 years, and fishing lost its lure for him when he first began to pastor at his first church in Iowa.
“Because I came into the ministry later in life than most, I’ve been steadfast in ministry, and I enjoy it,” Freeman said. “I try to allow God to use me as the best pastor I can be to the people I am serving with.”
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together. Learn more at www.oklahomabaptists.org/CP