“I've always been interested in music,” Reverend Dennis H. Freeman recalls, “I guess I've always had the ears to listen and be open.” When Reverend Freeman was five years old, he attended a church service where he heard ‘Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.’ “Something about that tune,” he says, “just stuck in my ear.” He soon began accompanying his gospel-singing grandmother in their Baptist church services. He continued playing throughout his adolescence, dedicating years of musical service to his church community.
Mentored by senior musicians in his youth, Reverend Freeman continues to share his musical talent and traditional knowledge with area congregations and musicians. In 2020, he participated in the Traditional Arts Indiana Apprenticeship Program and mentored apprentice Mark Duerson. Today, Reverend Freeman serves as the Artist-in-Residence at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, a Minister of Music at Miracles and Blessings United Methodist Church, and the leader of a gospel choir at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Indianapolis.
Reverend Freeman doesn’t just play hymns—he prays them. Music is an expression of his faith, hope, and ministry. “I don’t think there is any bad music,” he says, “I think that music comes from God.” Reverend Dennis H. Freeman received a 2021 Indiana Heritage Fellowship for his musical mastery and years of dedicated service to his community.