The Rev. TJ Freeman
Faith Community: I am the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Wayne.
Hometown: Oxford, Ind.
Who does your immediate family consist of?: I am married to Annie, we have two children Ellie and Jack and a cat named Hermione.
In what ministries do you participate?: In addition to my role at the parish, I serve on the Diocesan Council.
Favorite sports team: I grew up listening to the Cubs on AM radio sitting on my grandparents back porch and drinking sun tea. There is a lot to be learned by rooting for a team that constantly breaks your heart. My grandfather would say that it built character rooting for the Cubs. I think I learned my first swear words listening to those games.
What was your first job?: My grandfather was an electrician and my first job was working with him. I would bring him tools from the truck, help to run wires, and whatever else needed to be done. Those days are wonderful memories and I cherish them dearly. I will never forget a friend of my grandfathers who joined us one day. He asked me if I knew the three rules of being an electrician’s apprentice. I dutifully took out my pencil and paper and began to write. “Ok, T.J. number one: Never hold two wires in the same hand. Number two: pay day is Friday. And number three: the boss is a jerk.” It was only as he spoke the third rule, that I realized that I had been taken.
What’s your most memorable experience?: One my most memorable experiences, outside of my wedding day and the birth of my children, was making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Every step of that walk was holy, some were a painful holy and some were a tired holy, but holiness was palpable every step of the way. Even though I went alone I made dear friends along the way, friends that I still speak with today. At Santiago in the cathedral there is a carving of the Tree of Jesse. On that carving there is a weird multi-fingered hand worn into the pillar. As pilgrims arrived they would place their hand on the pillar in an act of thanksgiving for a safe arrival. When I placed my hand on the pillar I could feel the presence of those who came before me. As I looked around during the pilgrim’s mass, I saw faces that I had not seen since the first day in France, but there we were all together once again. It was a magnificent journey and I think about it daily.
What was your childhood ambition?: My father, mother, grandfathers, and great-grandfather were firefighters. My father and grandfather served as fire chiefs. I always wanted to be a firefighter. There was something about service to the community that always spoke to me.
What’s your favorite food?: Tacos. I served in the Army in central Texas and then attended seminary in Texas. And I developed a deep love of what I consider the most versatile food in the world. I could eat tacos every meal of the week. The