News

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
Friday, 29 March 2019
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Lebanon, TN – Josh Clemmons has been promoted to First Vice President at First Freedom Bank, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO. Clemmons will continue to serve as the company’s Controller.

“Josh is an outstanding individual and a significant contributor to the success we have enjoyed at First Freedom,” said Lancaster, “We rely on his technical financial expertise on a regular basis and we’re excited to see his continued growth in our company.”

With a background in public accounting, Clemmons is celebrating a decade of employment with First Freedom.  He was originally hired as an Accounting Officer before being promoted to Accounting Manager in 2012 and Controller in 2016.   

Clemmons is a summa cum laude graduate of Western Kentucky University, where he earned a B.S in Accounting.  He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA).

Clemmons resides in his hometown of Lebanon with his wife, Beth, and daughters, Victoria and Lily Grace. He is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lebanon where he has been involved as a deacon and Sunday School teacher.

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 03/29/2019 12:26 PM by Kaitlin Wattenbarger
Friday, 29 March 2019
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Mt. Juliet, TN – Keleigh Carnes has been promoted to Personal Banker at the Providence office, announced Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking. Carnes previously served as a Financial Services Representative Manager.

“Keleigh has accomplished a lot since joining our bank, making great strides in her overall banking knowledge, delivering excellent customer service and really embracing the First Freedom culture for delivering the right financial products and services to meet or exceed customer expectations,” said Beavers.

Before joining First Freedom in August of 2016, Carnes was employed in the restaurant industry. She is a graduate of Wilson Central High School.

Carnes is a native of Hendersonville, Tennessee. She currently resides in Mt. Juliet.

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 03/29/2019 12:14 PM by Kaitlin Wattenbarger
Friday, 15 March 2019
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First Freedom sponsors FFA Legislative Breakfast; Tours State Capitol with Representative Clark Boyd.  Pictured from left to right: J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, John Bradshaw, President/COO and CLO, Shelia Ferrell, First Vice President, John Lancaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Representative Clark Boyd, and Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager.

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Posted on 03/15/2019 12:09 PM by Kaitlin Wattenbarger
Friday, 22 February 2019
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Several First Freedom management members attended the Annual Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Awards Celebration & Banquet to support JB Owens, Executive Vice President of the Bank, who was recognized at the event for leading the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce as its Board Chairman in 2018. Owens has served on the Chamber’s Board for 4 years and will continue to serve on the Chamber’s Board for 2 additional years. Those in attendance from the Bank are shown here as follows from left to right: John Bradshaw – President, Maliea Oakley – Senior Vice President, Ken Howell – Chairman Emeritus, Nicole Frank – Mortgage Origination Officer, Shelia Ferrell – First Vice President, Phillip Vance – Assistant Vice President, JB Owens – Executive Vice President, John Lancaster – Chief Executive Officer, Josh Clemmons – First Vice President, Kenny Beavers – Senior Vice President, and Mike Wiggington – Executive Vice President.

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Posted on 02/22/2019 8:43 AM by Kaitlin Wattenbarger
Monday, 28 January 2019
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First Freedom sponsored a table at the annual Mt. Juliet Chamber Choice Awards banquet, held at Tucker’s Gap on January 24th.

This event is held in order to recognize notable individuals in the business community.

Pictured from left to right is J.B Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, John Bradshaw, President/COO and CLO, John Lancaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tucker Worley, Relationship Specialist, Natalie Stark, Assistant Vice President and Mt. Juliet Office Manager, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, and Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager.

 

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Posted on 01/28/2019 9:37 AM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 18 December 2018
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First Freedom was a sponsor of the fourth annual Christmas Breakfast and Appreciation Program for all leaders of the Wilson County first responders.

The event was hosted by Rehab 23 and took place at the Lebanon Country Club on December 12th. This year’s guest speaker was Chief Buck Dozier (retired) of the Nashville Fire Department and current President of Box 55.

Pictured: front row, from left to right is Chief Lance Howell, Wilson County Sheriff and Rehab 23 Board Member, Bob Pergler, Operations Officer, Rehab 23, Scott Lorden, President, Rehab 23, Jennifer Porth, General Counsel, Rehab 23, Linn Yeager, Vice President, Rehab 23. Back row, from left to right is Kenny Beavers, First Freedom Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, Natalie Stark, First Freedom Assistant Vice President and Providence Office Manager, and Wayne Hudspath, Board Member, Rehab 23. All Rehab 23 members pictured are also on the Board of Directors for the organization.

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Posted on 12/18/2018 3:57 PM by Sarah Poss
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
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Natalie Stark has joined First Freedom Bank as the Providence Office Manager, announced John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO.

Stark’s considerable experience in the banking world makes her a perfect fit for First Freedom Bank. After earning her BA in Marketing/Management from Marietta College in 1987, she began her 26-year career with Fifth Third Bank where she would become a Banking Center Manager and later a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer.  She was a member of the bank’s Presidents Circle for her outstanding achievements and served as a mentor to new hire mortgage loan officers.      

“We are very pleased to be associated with Natalie Stark,” said Lancaster, “her depth of banking and mortgage knowledge will be of great assistance to our customers and employees.”  

A native of Pomeroy, Ohio, Stark moved to Columbus, Ohio after completing college and lived there until relocating to Tennessee in 2017. She currently resides in Old Hickory with her husband, Ken. They have one daughter, Alexandra.

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 12/12/2018 12:40 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 07 December 2018
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First Freedom’s Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, participated in Sycamore Elementary School’s annual Great Shake Event. Attended by nearly sixty fourth-graders, this event strives to foster professional communication skills. The students introduce themselves, shake hands and have brief conversations with their guests.

Pictured is Ladell Medley with other Great Shake attendees. 

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Posted on 12/07/2018 2:20 PM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 04 December 2018
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First Freedom organized a food drive for its second year in a row. There was 451 pounds of food collected and donated to local organizations. 
Pictured from left to right is Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager, and Kaitlin Wattenbarger, Providence Personal Banker, posing with some of their office’s collected food. 

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Posted on 12/04/2018 4:31 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 09 November 2018
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FFB recognized six 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 MaKayla Ramsey, Cookeville FSR, Bryan Sweet, Cookeville FSR Manager, Sara Beth Kinnaird, Gainesboro FSR, Dawn Kidwell, Mt. Juliet FSR Manager, Kim Cowan, Providence FSR and Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager.

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

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Posted on 11/09/2018 11:30 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 25 October 2018
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First Freedom hosted a booth at this year’s EMTAR Expo. The expo was held at the Wilson County Expo Center and featured educational opportunities, booths with realtors and affiliates, food, games and prize drawings. This year’s theme was “a celebration of decades” and each booth displayed their favorite decade through design and attire.

Pictured from left to right is Nicole Frank and Christen Rabe, Mortgage Origination Officers.

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Posted on 10/25/2018 1:24 PM by Sarah Poss
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
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First Freedom sponsored a table at the annual Fellowship Christian Athletes (FCA) of Wilson County Banquet, held on October 2nd at the Wilson County Expo Center. The host this year was Chad Withrow, sports radio personality of 104.5 “The Zone” and Midday 180. Also in attendance was former Nashville Predator and current analyst with NHL sports Network, Stu Grimson.

First Freedom’s John Hawkins is on the board of the Wilson County FCA.

FCA encourages coaches and athletes to serve their communities and to make an impact in the world through Jesus Christ. Funds raised from the banquet go toward helping the organization fulfill their mission.

Pictured from left to right is John Hawkins, Assistant Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Phillip Vance, Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager, Nicole Frank, Mortgage Origination Officer, Tucker Worley, Relationship Specialist, J.B. Owens, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Banking, John Bradshaw, President and Chief Operating Officer, John Lancaster, Chairman and CEO, and Shelia Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender.

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Posted on 10/17/2018 9:08 AM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 28 September 2018
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First Freedom was a sponsor for the 30th Annual Upper Cumberland Quilt Festival this year. This event has grown substantially over the years and showcases over 600 quilts. This event always draws a large attendance from Putnam and surrounding counties, as well as out-of-state visitors.

The festival strives to not only showcase the quilts but also preserve the art and heritage of quilting, provide education, and act as a location for experts to meet.

Pictured from left to right is John Allen, festival worker, Lisa Mellott, Cookeville FSR, Barbara Tolleson, festival worker, and Nancy Pardue, festival worker.

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Posted on 09/28/2018 10:00 AM by Sarah Poss
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
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First Freedom attended the BEEFoundation Reception dinner on Wednesday, September 19th. The event included a scholarship presentation, a wall of honor, and a live auction.

The BEEFoundation is a non-profit organization that provides education and professional development opportunities for students, consumers, and beef producers.

Pictured from left to right is Kristina McKee and Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, at the wall of honor. Kristina McKee and her husband Bill McKee were original organizers of First Freedom Bank.

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Posted on 09/25/2018 2:12 PM by Sarah Poss
Friday, 21 September 2018
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First Freedom was a sponsor for Sycamore Elementary shirts which will be worn by the students on spirit days, school events, and field trips. Thanks to local sponsors each student received a school shirt completely free.

Pictured is Ladell Medley, Vice President and Cookeville-Algood Office Manager, with Sycamore Elementary students and staff at the Sycamore Scramble Day.

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Posted on 09/21/2018 10:13 AM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 23 August 2018
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First Freedom Bank, in partnership with CRA Partners, funded the Senior Crimestoppers Program at Mount Juliet Health Care Center in Mt. Juliet, Quality Center for Rehabilitation & Healing in Lebanon, and Signature HealthCare of Putnam County in Cookeville. Each location was presented with a Charter Plaque, a ‘Wish Comes True Check’ to be used by the facility, and a ‘Time of Your Life Video’ to provide entertainment for the residents.

The Senior Crimestoppers Program is operated by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) and works to protect and enhance the lives of senior housing residents.

Pictured is First Freedom staff with residents and staff of the senior housing facilities.

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Posted on 08/23/2018 11:05 AM by Sarah Poss
Monday, 20 August 2018
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Kenny Beavers, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, and Keleigh Carnes, Providence FSR Manager, attended Del Webb’s Trade Partner Appreciation Reception on Thursday, August 9th.   

First Freedom has participated in the Del Webb Trade Partners Program since 2013.

Pictured from left to right is Keleigh Carnes, Kenny Beavers, and Helene Holverson, Del Webb Director.

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Posted on 08/20/2018 2:54 PM by Sarah Poss
Thursday, 16 August 2018
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Donna Watson, Administrative Assistant, Shelia Ferrell, First Vice President and Managerial Lender, and Kelly Ferrell, Senior Personal Banker and Team Leader (pictured left to right), participated in the third annual Wyatt’s Walk and Run on August 11th at Charlie Daniels Park. Wyatt’s Walk and Run was organized to raise awareness and research funding for Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS).

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Posted on 08/16/2018 8:08 AM by Sarah Poss
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