News

Wednesday, 13 November 2019
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First Freedom hosted a booth at the annual Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors (EMTAR) Expo on October 23rd. This year’s theme was “Nightmare on EMTAR Street,” and many attendees dressed in costume and decorated their booths.

EMTAR is a chartered member of the National Association of Realtors that works to protect property owner’s rights and stimulate professional development and education.

Pictured from left to right is Stacey Crockett, Mortgage Administration Officer, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, and Tucker Worley, Relationship Manager and Bank Officer.

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Posted on 11/13/2019 7:57 AM by Sarah Poss
Wednesday, 06 November 2019
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First Freedom joined the Jackson County Soil Conservation District (SCD) at their annual Farmers Awards Banquet on October 24, 2019. The awards banquet is held to celebrate conservation work and spotlight farmers, landowners, and students. 

Pictured is Teola Ragland, Gainesboro Personal Banker, with Andrew Grey, his wife Shonda, and their kids. Andrew was awarded Farmer of the Year at the banquet.

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Posted on 11/06/2019 8:24 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 31 October 2019
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The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce hosted University of Tennessee Athletic Director, Phillip Fulmer, at the Capitol Theater. Fulmer discussed UT sports and mingled with guests. Several FFB staff were in attendance.

Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Wilson County Sports Council, a division of the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured from left to right is Ryan Woodall, Bank Officer and Relationship Manager, John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, Aylan Baines, Relationship Specialist, Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, Sheila Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Tucker Worley, Relationship Manager and Bank Officer, and Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources.

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Posted on 10/31/2019 9:06 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 07 October 2019
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First Freedom Bank sponsored a hospitality tent and a team at the annual Mt. Juliet Chamber Golf Tournament on Thursday, September 23rd at Pine Creek Golf Course. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured from left to right is Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, Ashley Montgomery, Mt. Juliet Personal Banker, and Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Personal Banker.

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Posted on 10/07/2019 1:53 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 03 October 2019
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First Freedom’s Kaitlyn Kovalchik was presented with Tennessee Tech’s W.A. Howard Award. The W.A. Howard Award is given to students graduating with a 4.0 GPA and is in honor of Dr. and Mrs. W.A. Howard.  Kaitlyn graduated in May of this year and earned her BSBA with a major in Accounting.

Kaitlyn works at the Cookeville location as a Financial Services Representative.

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Posted on 10/03/2019 2:30 PM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 01 October 2019
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First Freedom staff shared in the excitement at the groundbreaking event at Sellars Station last Tuesday where it was announced that The Incredible Christmas Place will be opening up a second location in Mt. Juliet.

The Incredible Christmas Place will be the first business to open in Sellars Station.

Pictured from left to right is Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, and Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Office Manager.

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Posted on 10/01/2019 10:37 AM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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First Freedom hosted a booth at the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce’s Bizapalooza. It was held at the Leslie Town Center on Thursday, September 12th.

The Bizapalooza is a bi-annual event organized to provide local business with a networking opportunity.

Pictured from left to right, front row, is Kaitlyn Kovalchik, Cookeville FSR, Abby Hernandez, Cookeville FSR, Breanna Bilbrey, Cookeville FSR, Gaile Paul, Algood Personal Banker and Assistant Manager. Pictured from left to right, top row, is Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, Bryan Sweet Cookeville FSR Manager, and Kelly Emery, Cookeville Personal Banker and Assistant Manager. 

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Posted on 09/24/2019 2:37 PM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 23 September 2019
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First Freedom Bank is proud to announce promotions for two of its staff members. Rebecca Jennings has been promoted to Bank Officer – Credit Analyst and Tucker Worley has been promoted to Bank Officer – Relationship Manager.

                                                      Rebecca Jennings

Jennings began with First Freedom in July of 2017 and interned as a Financial Services Representative before moving to full-time status in May of 2018. She has spent her time with the bank in the financial, retail, and commercial divisions and most recently served as a commercial credit analyst.

Jennings graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.B.A in Accounting from Cumberland University while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. While at Cumberland, she was recognized with the Most Outstanding Performance Award in Accounting and the Outstanding Intern Award from the Office of Career Services and Internships. She was also a member of several prestigious academic honor societies such as Alpha Lambda Delta, Delta Mu Delta and Alpha Chi. Jennings served as Treasurer of the College Republicans Club and was a member of Campus Ministry International.  

“Rebecca Jennings is an outstanding person with a tremendous future at First Freedom,” remarked John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of the company. “We are excited that she has chosen First Freedom as her home and we look forward to her bright future with our company.” 

Jennings is a native of Highland Lakes, New Jersey, but she now resides in Lebanon with her husband Christian. They are members of Grace United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet.

                                                  Tucker Worley

Worley was employed with First Freedom as an intern in summer of 2017 before becoming a full-time employee later that year. Since joining with the bank, he has worked in both the commercial and retail divisions. He has most recently been working in the mortgage department as a Relationship Specialist. With this promotion, he will relocate to the Mt. Juliet Office on Lebanon Road and will be offering mortgage, personal, and small business loans to the community.   

Worley is a 2017 graduate of Freed-Hardeman University where he earned his B.B.A in Accounting. He currently serves as the Head Coach of Mt. Juliet Church of Christ’s Boys Highschool Basketball Team. He is also an active member of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce where he is the Co-Chair of the Mt. Juliet Young Professionals Group.

“Tucker loves Wilson County and relishes opportunities to be involved, particularly in Mt. Juliet,” commented Lancaster.  “He has a unique ability and strong desire to connect with individuals and aid them in pursuing their financial dreams.  We are honored to have him on the First Freedom team.”

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Worley currently resides in Mt. Juliet. He is a member of the Mt. Juliet Church of Christ.

First Freedom Bank, headquartered in Wilson County, was established in 2006.  A full service, community bank, First Freedom Bank offers personal and commercial banking services from six locations in Wilson, Putnam and Jackson Counties, and has approximately 70 employees. First Freedom Bank has assets in excess of $460 million and is owned by more than 1,100 shareholders throughout Middle Tennessee. First Freedom Bank is member of the Better Business Bureau, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additionally, First Freedom has earned the prestigious Five Star rating by Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating firm.

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Posted on 09/23/2019 12:17 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 19 September 2019
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First Freedom attended two of Tennessee Tech University’s (TTU) fall career fairs. The first fair, held on September 10th, was targeted toward students looking for part-time positions and was open to all students and all majors. The second fair was held on September 17th and was the Business, Agriculture, Government, and Human Ecology Fair and was also open to all students and all majors.

TTU hosts its career fairs for students to network with local businesses and to maximize their career opportunities.

Pictured from left to right is Sarah Poss, Providence Office Manager and Marketing Officer, with Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking at the Business, Agriculture, Government, and Human Ecology Fair.

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Posted on 09/19/2019 7:45 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 26 August 2019
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Tatum Jones has been promoted to Personal Banker at the Lebanon office, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

“Tatum has been a valued member of the Main Office team since joining the bank. Her excellent customer service skills and previous banking experience have benefited both her customers and coworkers. Tatum will do a great job serving our customers in her new position,” said Beavers.

Jones joined First Freedom Bank in July of last year as a Financial Services Representative. She has prior experience in both the retail and financial field and possesses a broad knowledge of branch operations.  As a Lebanon native, she is well established in the Wilson County Community. Jones was also previously involved with United Way.

Jones still resides in Lebanon with her son, Paxton.

First Freedom Bank, headquartered in Wilson County, was established in 2006.  A full service, community bank, First Freedom Bank offers personal and commercial banking services from six locations in Wilson, Putnam and Jackson Counties, and has approximately 70 employees. First Freedom Bank has assets in excess of $460 million and is owned by more than 1,100 shareholders throughout Middle Tennessee. First Freedom Bank is member of the Better Business Bureau, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additionally, First Freedom has earned the prestigious Five Star rating by Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating firm.

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Posted on 08/26/2019 1:53 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 22 August 2019
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FFB recognized six employees for exceptional job performance and exceeding their individual goals for enhancing and broadening customer relationships. Their outstanding performance earned them the prestigious honor of Chairman’s Cup Member for the quarter. The qualifying employees were MaKayla Ramsey, Cookeville FSR, Kaitlyn Kovalchik, Cookeville FSR, Bryan Sweet, Cookeville FSR Manager, Kim Cowan, Providence FSR Manager, Susan Nichols, Algood FSR Manager, and Sara Beth Davenport, Gainesboro FSR.

Sara Beth was also recognized as the Top Performing FSR. Sara Beth is pictured above with John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO. 

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Posted on 08/22/2019 7:11 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 15 August 2019
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Tori Oakley has been promoted to Personal Banker at First Freedom Bank, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking. Oakley will be located at the Mt. Juliet Office on Lebanon Road.

We are very please to have Tori as the newest member of the Mt. Juliet Office,” said Beavers. “Her excellent customer service skills and financial expertise will be well received by the customers and coworkers there.”

 Oakley began working with First Freedom in January 2017 as a Financial Services Representative. Prior to her employment with the bank, she worked three years in the restaurant industry.

A Lebanon native, Oakley now resides in Murfreesboro with her husband, Tyler. She volunteers with Hands on Nashville and is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.

First Freedom Bank, headquartered in Wilson County, was established in 2006.  A full service, community bank, First Freedom Bank offers personal and commercial banking services from six locations in Wilson, Putnam and Jackson Counties, and has approximately 70 employees. First Freedom Bank has assets in excess of $460 million and is owned by more than 1,100 shareholders throughout Middle Tennessee. First Freedom Bank is member of the Better Business Bureau, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additionally, First Freedom has earned the prestigious Five Star rating by Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating firm.

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Posted on 08/15/2019 1:28 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 02 August 2019
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First Freedom donated paper and headphones to Sycamore Elementary School for the upcoming school year. The items were delivered the afternoon of Sycamore’s Luau themed Back-to-School Bash.

Pictured is Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville/Algood Office Manager, and Sarah Poss, Bank Officer and Marketing Specialist, presenting the donated items to Sycamore staff and students.

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Posted on 08/02/2019 7:51 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 29 July 2019
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Sycamore Elementary School held their annual Back to School Bash on Friday, July 26th. First Freedom hosted a booth and gave away goodie bags and other treats to students.

Pictured from left to right is Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville/Algood Office Manager and MaKayla Ramsey, Cookeville FSR, at the Back to School Bash booth.

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Posted on 07/29/2019 2:44 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 18 July 2019
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First Freedom sponsored a hospitality tent and had a team participate in the 19th annual Dr. Cary Harbrecht Memorial Chamber Summer Scramble on July 15th at Five Oaks Golf & Country Club. All proceeds raised will go to the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured (top) from left to right is Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, John Bradshaw, President/COO & CLO, and J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking. This was Vance’s third year as the tournament chair.

Pictured (bottom) from left to right is Sarah Poss, Bank Officer and Marketing Specialist, Denise Bingham, Personal Banker, Tucker Worley, Relationship Specialist, and Tatum Jones, Lebanon FSR.

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Posted on 07/18/2019 2:38 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 28 June 2019
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First Freedom attended Twin Lake’s celebration on the Gainesboro City Square on Thursday, June 20th. Twin Lakes received national recognition as a Gig-Certified Provider, acknowledging their gigabit broadband speeds and technological innovation. They were also presented the Smart Rural Community award for building broadband networks throughout their service area.

Pictured from left to right is Ashley Bybee of Twin Lakes, Donna Elrod, Vice President and Gainesboro Office Manager, and Greg Scott, Gainesboro FSR Manager.

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Posted on 06/28/2019 1:30 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 21 June 2019
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First Freedom was a sponsor of Empower Me’s first annual “Stories and Strings for Dreams” event. Empower Me is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to support and empower children with disabilities and their families. They have served over 10,000 children and their families over the past twenty years. Funds from this event go toward building an Empower Me Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will meet the growing demand of special needs individuals in the community.

The event was held June 15th at the Capitol Theater and hosted Lulu Roman as emcee, Kason Lester and Kayley Hill as music, and special guests Ricky Cook and Linda Davis.

Pictured from left to right is Kason Lester, Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Officer Manager, Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, Shelia Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Aylan Baines, Relationship Specialist, Tucker Worley, Relationship Specialist, Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources, and Michelle Hill, Director of Empower Me.

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Posted on 06/21/2019 4:46 PM by Sarah Poss
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
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First Freedom Bank sponsored a table at the annual Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center gala, held at Victory Baptist Church on June 7th. The night’s theme was “Bridging the Generations,” and included the Mt. Juliet High School Choir department as entertainment. There was a live auction held after dinner. The proceeds from the event go toward the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center.

Pictured from left to right is Kelly Ferrell, Lebanon Senior Personal Banker and Team Leader, Sarah Poss, Providence Personal Banker and Marketing Officer, Amanda Culbert, Providence FSR, Blair Kirkland, Providence FSR, Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Office Manager, and Denise Bingham, Personal Banker.

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Posted on 06/12/2019 2:56 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 23 May 2019
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FFB recognized five employees this past quarter for exceptional job performance and exceeding their individual goals for enhancing and broadening customer relationships. Their outstanding performance earned them the prestigious honor of Chairman’s Cup Member for the quarter. The qualifying employees were Karen Elmore, Lebanon FSR Manager, Greg Scott, Gainesboro FSR Manager, Tatum Jones, Lebanon FSR, Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR, Kim Cowan, Providence FSR Manager.

Tatum Jones also received the MVP Award for achieving the highest overall performance score among all FSRs. Pictured above is Tatum receiving her award from John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO. 

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Posted on 05/23/2019 2:33 PM by Kaitlin Wattenbarger
Monday, 22 April 2019
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First Freedom Announces Stock Dividend
 

Lebanon, TN – John Lancaster, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of First Freedom Bancshares, Inc, announced the Board of Directors has approved a 2.50% stock dividend payable to shareholders of record on July 12th, with a payment date of July 19th 2019.  “We are pleased to announce our seventh consecutive dividend”, stated Lancaster. 

 

First Freedom’s 2018 earnings increased 46% year-over-year fueled by strong loan and deposit growth and excellent operating efficiencies.  First quarter of 2019 earnings increased 22% compared to the same period in 2018.  “We continue to be very pleased with our financial performance and are excited to award our shareholders with yet another dividend,” stated Lancaster.  “We remain optimistic about the future of First Freedom.”
 

 First Freedom Bank, headquartered in Wilson County, was established in 2006.  A full service, community bank, First Freedom Bank offers personal and commercial banking services from six locations in Wilson, Putnam and Jackson Counties, and has approximately 70 employees. First Freedom Bank has assets in excess of $475 million and is owned by more than 1,100 shareholders throughout Middle Tennessee. First Freedom Bank is member of the Better Business Bureau, an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additionally, First Freedom has earned the prestigious Five Star rating by Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating firm.



 
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Posted on 04/22/2019 3:11 PM by Kaitlin Wattenbarger
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