Freedom Church opened its doors in the Lowcountry six years ago as a church plant of Seacoast Church. After serving on the staff of Seacoast Church for 10 years Pastor Shawn and a core group of 80 people launched Freedom Church.
For three and a half years, the church’s congregation met at Whitesville Elementary. In 2015, because of their rapid growth, Freedom Church moved into a new facility in the Foxbank neighborhood.
“Being part of Foxbank Plantation has definitely aided our church in its mission and growth,” said Wood.
The church has grown significantly over the last six years. Starting with only 80 people, Freedom Church now welcomes approximately 1,600 people every weekend. To accommodate its growing congregation, as well as enhance its children’s area with more child-friendly activities, the church is adding on to its current building in the coming months.
As the church has grown, so have its opportunities to serve the community. This year, Freedom Church started Mom’s Morning Out, a childcare program offered every morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, to give busy moms the opportunity to run errands or have a little break.
“There’s a small charge to participate in Mom’s Morning Out, but there’s no sign up or commitment,” explains Wood. “It varies, but right now we probably have around 40 to 50 children a day in the program.”
Another offering Freedom Church provides is the annual Girls Night Out, which is a women’s conference hosted every August. It includes special guest speakers and serves as a set-up for Sisterhood, the church’s weekly women’s bible study.
For the younger generations, the church hosts Youth Group every Wednesday. The Youth Group welcomes about 100 kids every week, where they conduct a worship service and then break out into small groups for faith-based discussions led by adult leaders.
Although there is a lot going on inside the walls of Freedom Church, there is also a big emphasis on community service projects outside of the four walls of the church.
“One thing we are really proud of is our Adopt-A-Block program,” said Wood. “Every month we spend time with the families and children on the blocks we’ve adopted. For over five years now we have been showing up every single month helping them in anyway we can but mostly just getting to know them and serving them as friends and neighbors.”
The church currently serves two blocks in the Moncks Corner area and one block in St. Stephens, with plans to adopt two or three more blocks in the next few years as the church continues to grow.
“This past year we hosted ‘Freedom Church Serve Day,’ where we went in a painted the old Moncks Corner recreation facility and did some clean-up and other community service projects,” explained Wood. “And in April we did another big service day, where we helped with the new landscaping at the recreational complex.”
While Freedom Church participates in a lot of community service projects throughout the Lowcountry, their passion for service has led them overseas, too.
“We also are able to serve people around the world through our partnership in Haiti,” said Wood. “We support 16 children from a Haitian orphanage financially, and we make around four or five trips a year to Haiti, where we work in the village helping with whatever we can.”
Freedom Church is also passionate about helping children in foster care. They have started the program called J127, which stands for James 127, a verse in the bible that states, “True religion is to care for the orphan and widow.”
The church has welcome dozens of foster families into its congregation, and through its J127 program, it has been able to offer monthly foster training courses and support for foster families through generous donations from its congregation.
“My wife and I have had 11 kids in foster care ourselves,” explained Wood. “It’s a cause we are personally very passionate about. And with J127, we are able to provide wrap-around care for families in the foster community.”
If you would like to get a taste of what Freedom Church’s worship is like they have also released a CD called “The Veil,” which is available on iTunes and includes original worship songs written by the band or you can always check them out online on Sundays at live.freedomchurch.sc.
“We have a lot going on here,” said Wood. “It’s all very exciting.”
Learn more about Freedom Church by visiting freedomchurch.sc or stopping by their home in Foxbank Plantation on Cypress Gardens Road!