News

Friday, 16 December 2016
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First Freedom Bank donated to the Gainesboro 4-H Club for their Public Speaking Contest.

Pictured are First Freedom's Gregory Scott, Customer Service Manager for the Gainesboro office and Cynthia Zeits, UT Extension Agent that helps students compete in the 4-H contest.

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Posted on 12/16/2016 3:29 PM by Giulia Ware
Friday, 25 November 2016
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On September 22nd Teola Ragland, Personal Banker for First Freedom's Gainesboro office, volunteered for a community baby shower hosted by the UT Extension office.

This event is put together twice a year by the UT Extension office. The UT Extension office serves the citizens of Jackson County with educational programs in the areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, Community Resource Development, and 4-H Youth Development. They  are an outreach branch of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.  

This community baby shower  is open to the public and is an opportunity to talk to parents about car seat safety, crib safety and safe sleeping habits. First Freedom donated one of the door prize that was given to the families in need.

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Posted on 11/25/2016 3:49 PM by Giulia Ware
Monday, 21 November 2016
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On October 27th  Ladell Medley, VP and Cookeville/Algood office Manager for First Freedom Bank was a speaker at White Plains Academy Vocational Day.

Ladell spoke to about 75 students of different grades.

Main topics were banking, education requirements to get a job in the banking world, jobs and education opportunities, benefits and motivational speech to continue striving in school.

Ladell did a great job keeping the students focused and shared some of his personal work experiences, giving meaningful advice.

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Posted on 11/21/2016 10:39 AM by Giulia Ware
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts. In November, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet. Big Brothers assists needy families in West Wilson County with food and basic necessities; they will have a toy store for Christmastime for families in need of gifts. 

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom Bank; C.J. George and Linda George, volunteers with Big Brothers; Matt Pillow, AVP and First Freedom Providence Office Manager; Debbie Carrey, Board Member for Big Brothers; and John Bradshaw, President and COO of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 11/15/2016 9:09 AM by Giulia Ware
Friday, 14 October 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts. In October, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). CASA provides trained volunteers who advocate in court for the stability and healthy development of abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers remain with their assigned case until the child can be returned home, is adopted, or other permanent arrangements are made. 

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, President and COO of First Freedom Bank; Cathey Sweeney, Executive Director of Wilson County CASA; Shelia Ferrell, Vice President and Relationship Manager at First Freedom Bank and President-Elect of Wilson County CASA; and John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 10/14/2016 1:05 PM by Giulia Ware
Wednesday, 07 September 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts. In September, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of the Mt. Juliet Help Center. The Help Center provides emergency food and utility assistance to citizens in Mt. Juliet and west Wilson County. 

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Posted on 09/07/2016 1:36 PM by Giulia Ware
Tuesday, 02 August 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts.  In August, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of Wilson Books from Birth. Wilson Books from Birth partners with the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation to make the Dolly Parton Imagination Library available to every child under age 5 in Wilson County. Children receive a new, age-appropriate book each month free of charge.

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, President and COO of First Freedom Bank; Peggy Simpson, Director of Wilson Books from Birth; Theresa Wiggington, volunteer for Wilson Books from Birth; and John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 08/02/2016 12:16 PM by Giulia Ware
Friday, 08 July 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts.  In July, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center.  The Center offers more than 80 programs in arts & crafts, drama and music, recreation, wellness, special events and community service.  It is currently raising funds for a new, one-level building that will be more than double the size of the current Center. 

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, President and COO of First Freedom Bank; Tanya Graham, Executive Director of Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center; Steven Ford, board member of the Center; Jennifer McGlothin, chair of the Center; Linda McClanahan, Capital Campaign Director of the Center; April Jennette, manager of the Mt. Juliet office of First Freedom Bank; John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom Bank; and Matt Pillow, manager of the Providence office of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 07/08/2016 8:29 AM by Giulia Ware
Wednesday, 08 June 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts.  In June, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center.  The Center offers a wide variety of physical activities, educational opportunities, support groups, organized trips, and lunches to attendees as well as those who are homebound and unable to cook. The Center is currently raising funds to expand its facility.

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, President and COO of First Freedom Bank; Patti Watts, Director of the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center; Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources at First Freedom Bank; and John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 06/08/2016 9:00 AM by Giulia Ware
Monday, 23 May 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts.  In May, First Freedom donated $1,000 in support of the Wilson County Veterans Plaza. Located next to the Wilson County Courthouse, the Veterans Plaza is a tribute to those who served the United States both past and present. Phase One of the Veteran's Park was completed in 2014; the park includes an eternal flame, POW-MIA monument, a star-shaped fountain, monuments for all branches of the military and several flagpoles. Phases two and three will include offices and a museum. 

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO of First Freedom, Bernie Ash from the Veteran's Services Office and John Bradshaw, President and COO of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 05/23/2016 8:22 AM by Giulia Ware
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
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J. B. Owens, CPA, Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking of First Freedom Bank, was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of both the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending and the Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Freedom Bank.

The Southeastern School Boards serve as an extension of the Tennessee Bankers Association's board of directors and specifically oversees the administration of these two commercial lending schools on behalf of the Tennessee Bankers Association.

The Southeastern Schools provide a solid foundation on which to build a banking career. Graduates develop the skills that will bring them success in upper-level management positions and forge the networks that will serve them throughout their career.

"J. B. Owens is an outstanding choice as a board member for these important banking schools," stated First Freedom Chairman and CEO John Lancaster.  "His practical experience as a commercial lender and a senior level bank manager, coupled with his professional credentials, allow him to give a unique insight into the educational needs of developing bankers."

The Southeastern School of Commercial Lending is an intensive, one-week school that concentrates on all aspects of commercial lending. Students receive over 50 hours of classroom instruction, discussion, and case study.

The Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending is an intensive three-day school focusing on advanced cash flow and loan structure, commercial real estate lending, and new approaches to predicting portfolio credit performance and managing portfolio credit risk.  This school is ideal for commercial lenders, relationship managers, portfolio managers, senior credit managers, and others who currently are responsible for or are interested in profitably growing the bank's loan portfolio and better managing portfolio credit risk.

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Posted on 04/27/2016 10:05 AM by Giulia Ware
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
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John Lancaster, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of First Freedom Bancshares, Inc., announced that the Board of Directors has approved a 25 cent per share dividend payable to shareholders of record on April 15, with a payment date of April 29, 2016.

 "We are pleased to announce our fourth consecutive dividend," stated Lancaster. "2013 was the first year our bank was old enough to pay a dividend. This year's dividend reflects a 25% increase over last year and a 150% increase over the original 2013 dividend," he concluded. 

First Freedom's 2015 earnings per share increased 14.7% year-over-year fueled by strong margins, operating efficiency and solid loan growth.  First quarter of 2016 earnings are not yet available, but loan growth has continued to be strong as evidenced by $15 million growth in the loan portfolio. First Freedom is preparing for a mid-May purchase of three offices in Putnam and Jackson counties that are expected to add in excess of $100 million to the bank's balance sheet. 

"We continue to be very pleased with our financial performance and look forward to integrating these three offices into the First Freedom family," stated Lancaster.  "We are pleased to be able to reward our shareholders with this dividend and remain optimistic about the future of First Freedom."

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Posted on 04/12/2016 9:52 AM by Giulia Ware
Thursday, 07 April 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts. In April, First Freedom recognized the Wilson County Civic League (WCCL). WCCL was established in 1984 for the purpose of improving social conditions in the community by promoting programs that enhance self-worth and dignity. Through recreation, education, seminars, workshops, and regular tutoring programs, the Civic League addresses problems such as drug abuse, teen pregnancy, violence, and AIDS. Their philosophy is that preventive measures exceed rehabilitative efforts.

Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, First Freedom President and COO; Ronnie Kelley, President of WCCL; Harry Watkins Jr., Vice-President of WCCL; Fred Burton, Second Vice-President of WCCL; Maliea Oakley, Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources and Facilities Manager of First Freedom Bank; and John Lancaster, First Freedom Chairman and CEO.

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Posted on 04/07/2016 11:56 AM by Giulia Ware
Monday, 28 March 2016
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Kacey Nieves has joined First Freedom Bank as Customer Service Representative in the Providence office, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

"We are excited to have Kacey as a member of the First Freedom team. Kacey's prior banking experience, along with being a lifelong resident of the Mt. Juliet area, makes her a great fit for our Providence office," said Beavers.

Kacey formerly worked for SunTrust Bank as a Financial Services Representative. While at SunTrust, she was recognized as a Gold Level Performing Teammate, which is reserved for employees who excel in client sales and service.   

Kacey has volunteered at Mckendree Village Retirement Community and is a 2007 graduate of New Life Academy.  Born and raised in Mount Juliet, she resides in the Providence area with her husband and daughter. 

 

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Posted on 03/28/2016 1:38 PM by Giulia Ware
Friday, 18 March 2016
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Ashley Montgomery has joined First Freedom Bank as Personal Banker in the Mount Juliet office, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

"Ashley has been a great addition to our Mt. Juliet office, having worked her entire banking career in this market. Her commitment to providing excellent customer service, along with the ability to recognize the customer's true financial needs are unsurpassed. We are happy to have Ashley as a member of the First Freedom team," said Beavers.

Ashley has more than five years of banking experience. She was previously employed at SunTrust Bank, where she worked in the Mount Juliet offices as a Teller, before being promoted to Teller Coordinator. Ashley was recognized multiple times as a Gold Level Performing Teammate, which is reserved for employees who excel in client sales and service.   

Ashley has been involved in Junior Achievement's BizTown Program, where students learn entrepreneurial and personal finance skills while they work and shop in their own vibrant community. She is a graduate of McGavock High School and lives in the Old Hickory area.

 

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Posted on 03/18/2016 10:55 AM by Giulia Ware
Thursday, 10 March 2016
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First Freedom Bank sponsored a table at the Mt. Juliet Senior Center Spring Gala / Fundraiser for their building fund.

Attendees of that Gala were, left to right: Kayla Holbert, Customer Service Representative at the Mt. Juliet office, Candice Andrews, Customer Service Representative at the Mt. Juliet and Providence office, Matt Kidwell, Dawn Kidwell, Customer Service Manager a the Mt. Juliet office, April Jennette, Office Manager at the Mt. Juliet office and Bob Jennette.

All proceeds from dinner and silent auction went to the Mt. Juliet Senior Center building fund.

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Posted on 03/10/2016 10:02 AM by Giulia Ware
Friday, 04 March 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts.  In March, First Freedom recognized Brooks House, which provides temporary, safe shelter for up to thirty women and children.  Pictured at the check presentation are (left to right) John Bradshaw, First Freedom President and COO, Brooks House board members Brenda Burkett, Carol Ann Griffin and Brenda Callis, Brooks House Director Liz Reese, Brooks House board members Judd Nave and Keith Alexander, and First Freedom Chairman and CEO John Lancaster.

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Posted on 03/04/2016 9:18 AM by Giulia Ware
Thursday, 18 February 2016
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John Bradshaw has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of First Freedom Bank, announced John Lancaster, Board Chairman and CEO. Bradshaw was previously Executive Vice President and COO.

"John Bradshaw has been instrumental in the structure, substance and culture of First Freedom since inception.  It is with great pleasure and confidence that our board announces the promotion Mr. Bradshaw to President and Chief Operating Officer," said Lancaster.

Bradshaw was instrumental in the organization of First Freedom and served as an original organizer and board member.  In addition to COO, he serves as First Freedom's Chief Lending Officer. He has more than twenty five years of experience in all aspects of banking. Prior to his involvement with First Freedom, he was Senior Vice President of First Tennessee Bank, N.A. in Lebanon and headed the commercial lending and business development in Wilson County.

A lifelong resident of Lebanon, Bradshaw graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy and received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance at the University of Tennessee. He earned his Masters of Business Administration from Cumberland University. He is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Banking and the Tennessee Commercial School of Banking at Vanderbilt University.

Bradshaw is past Chairman and Ambassador Vice Chair of the Board for the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Health and Education Board of Wilson County. He is a member of the Lebanon Rotary Club, and has volunteered with Middle Tennessee Junior Achievement as an adult leader/teacher with students at Lebanon High School. He is a past board member of the American Heart Association, the Empower Me Day Camp, and Leadership Wilson Alumni Board. He graduated from the inaugural class of Leadership Wilson in 1994.

Bradshaw and his wife Karen have been married for over twenty-five years and have three children. They are active members of the First United Methodist Church in Lebanon.

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Posted on 02/18/2016 8:28 AM by Giulia Ware
Friday, 12 February 2016
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In honor of ten years of service in the Wilson County community, First Freedom Bank is spotlighting ten worthy community service organizations, and donating in support of their efforts.  The first honoree is Empower Me Center, the Lebanon organization that has been serving special needs individuals for 17 years. Empower Me Center is in the process of raising funds to build a permanent facility which will allow their weekly enrollment to increase from 35 to more than 200 participants. 

Pictured at the check presentation are John Bradshaw, Executive Vice President, Director & Chief Operating Officer of First Freedom Bank; Michelle Hill, Executive Director of Empower Me Center, and John Lancaster, Chairman & CEO of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 02/12/2016 10:31 AM by Giulia Ware
Tuesday, 02 February 2016
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Sarah Poss was promoted to Customer Service Manager & Training Coordinator, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking.

In her new role, Sarah will be responsible for the training process of all new Customer Service Representatives, while managing the frontline of customer contact for the bank.

"Sarah is well qualified to lead our Customer Service training efforts. Her prior experience in the service industry, educational background, and commitment to excellent customer service will greatly enhance our training process," said Beavers.

Poss has more than four years of experience in customer service. She began employment with First Freedom Bank as a Customer Service Representative in January of 2015. She earned her B.S. degree in Anthropology with minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Middle Tennessee State University in 2014.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Sarah has lived in Wilson County for the past 11 years. She and her husband currently reside in Watertown.

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Posted on 02/02/2016 9:37 AM by Giulia Ware
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