The Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is pleased to announce the addition of the Rev. Ashley Freeman to the diocesan staff as Canon to the Ordinary and Missioner for Discernment.
About Ashley Freeman
Ashley is coming to the diocese from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Zachary, Louisiana, though he is originally from Fairhope. He and his wife, Annie, have been married for 23 years and have three children: Hootie (22), Ashton (18), and Mary Carmen (11). He and his family lived in Fairhope until 2012 when they moved to Austin, Texas, where Ashley attended Seminary of the Southwest. After graduating from SSW in 2015, Ashley and his family lived in Baton Rouge for a year before moving to Zachary, where he has served as rector since 2016. While dating in high school, Ashley was first introduced to the Episcopal Church by Annie and her mother when they invited him to attend services at St. James in Fairhope. Before seminary, Ashley and his family were active members of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Gulf Shores. As a member of Holy Spirt, Ashley served on the vestry, served as a lay eucharistic minister and organized multiple projects and events. It was during this time at Holy Spirit, that he discerned a call to the priesthood. Ashley is passionate about empowering the laity to do the work of the kingdom and moving the church toward a missional model of ministry. He enjoys a good joke, meeting new people, and building lasting relationships. He is looking forward to returning home and working with the good and faithful people of our diocese as we discern God’s call for our future together. In sharing his vision as Canon to the Ordinary and Missioner for Discernment, Ashley says, "I am keenly aware this new role will be challenging in many ways. However, I am excited about the opportunity to build new and meaningful relationships with people throughout the diocese. I am eager to work alongside you in ministry. I am confident that through faithful discernment, God will inspire and empower us to bring the good news of Christ Jesus to the Central Gulf Coast." Bishop Russell offers, "I am excited about Ashley returning to serve our diocese in this particular ministry. He brings the experience of leading a church as a rector, serving as a curate and as an appointed member of the diocesan transition committee for the election of a new bishop. Ashley is a team player, and he has the enthusiasm, determination and creativity needed for this ministry. Furthermore, Ashley was born and raised in South Alabama and was much involved in our diocese before being called to the priesthood. Understanding and appreciating the ways of our region matters." Ashley will be available at the Duvall Center (office of Bishop Russell and staff) beginning in mid-August.