Lisa Freeman brings rich experience in pro-life leadership
New Executive Director Lisa Freeman (left) with retiring Executive Director Mary Jayne Fogerty (right).
A new step forward
Lisa Freeman was a young professional moving up the ranks in a corporate job for a telecom company when something dawned on her.
“Who cares?” she realized. “None of that made a difference. I needed to be doing something more meaningful.”
After all, that’s how her parents raised her. Her dad worked for the City of Dallas and always knew of someone who needed help.
“We weren’t a family of wealth, but I have memories of helping many people in need throughout my childhood,” she recalls. “Most I never personally met, but a few were people my parents helped for years. I remember one instance particularly well when we bought a family their Christmas gifts including a bike for their little boy.”
Those experiences gave her a passion to serve others, and she needed a job that embraced that part of her upbringing. She pursued a master’s degree in counseling, which led her to volunteer at Prestonwood Pregnancy Center in Dallas. She ultimately left her corporate job to become the development director and later, the executive director. After 12 fulfilling years, she left to help care for her mother who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. God led her to serve in other realms of nonprofit work. Her most recent work has been leading development efforts for a Cuban church outreach ministry as well as serving in various roles with animal rescue groups.
Now, she said God brought her back in the pro-life movement, leading TWC’s four clinics into a new era of ministry. While abortion laws are changing the game, she believes the goal of the ministry remains the same: inspire decisions for LIFE.
“Women will always have choices no matter the law. Even now, she could drive to an abortion clinic in Oklahoma or order an abortion pill online,” she said. “We just need new strategies and ways to meet the needs of these clients and develop that deeper relationship so TWC is her top choice over Planned Parenthood. We can do so much more for her here. We can empower her and her partner. We need to communicate our availability and desire to get to know them and help them in their personal development.”
She loves the relational approach that gives clients the space they need to make the best decision for life.
“There’s a balance to this ministry,” she said. “We share the Truth in a way that respects a person’s autonomy, and then we trust God to do the work we can’t do: reach her at a soul level.”
Her faith in God’s sovereignty is reflected in her favorite verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun.”
“I find that comforting when facing difficulties,” Freeman said. “Not just difficulties in my own life, but in a world of hard things like political divisions, pandemics, human trafficking, etc. God is still in charge and we just need to trust Him and stay adaptable to what He brings us.”
And she is glad He brought her to Thrive, a ministry she has long-recognized as a leader in pro-life work in the Dallas area.
“It’s a privilege to work with such an awesome group of staff, volunteers, and board members to do such meaningful work,” she said, noting she loves to foster a spirit of collaboration among all those parties. “I believe people closest to the work have the best insight and solutions. I recognize the expertise of those around me and try to foster an environment where everyone can do their jobs to the best of their ability.”
While she will be leading Thrive at an executive level, she has fond memories of the previous pregnancy center counseling rooms where she connected with clients. She keeps in touch with a few of them including one former client, an abuse victim, who is now a successful leader in her chosen career. Another client placed her first baby for adoption with Freeman’s help, and now has married and built a family of her own.
She is looking forward to building more redemption stories just like those. Her first day will be Nov. 29, 2021.
LISA FREEMAN – FAST FACTS
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Church: Highland Country Fellowship Church
Family: A cat named George, and extended family all over DFW
Favorite meal: A hamburger and french fries … and not all fries are equal!
Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys, especially Dak Prescott
Favorite vacation spot: San Diego
Side gigs: Volunteering for animal rescue organizations
Favorite verse: There is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, 1994 at University of Texas, Dallas, TX
Master of Science in Counseling, 2001 at Texas A&M University, Commerce, TX
Graduate Marketing Certificate and Graduate Dispute Resolutions Certificate at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX