Irene Webster Interview with Alleta Freeman
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
- Alleta Freeman, UFM Board Member & Board Secretary
- CEO/Founder of Stanley H. Freeman Memorial Foundation.
- Dutch Jewish family fled Nazi Germany
- Born in New York City to Saul and Susanna Freeman.
- Alleta’s mother was singer & actress, Suzie Klein. In 1934, she played the part of Blonde Greet in one of first Dutch talkie’s, ‘De Jantjes’. She married wealthy businessman, Saul Freeman, in 1936 and they emigrated to USA. Born in Amsterdam and daughter of opera singer, Albert Klein (1887-1968), Susanna lived in Texas and passed in 1995.
- Briarcliff College, NY Alumni
- B.A. Religion and Philosophy from University of Tennessee
- Post Graduate: Dallas Theological Seminary, Christ For the Nations, Word of Faith Academy, Student of Jewish Heritage and Culture, and Old Testament Theology.
- Mother of 5, Oma to 14
Irene Webster: Today is March 14, 2019 and I’m interviewing my dearest friend, Alleta Freeman. She is a devoted Christian, a beautiful person, blesses UFM Board of Directors and is Board Secretary. Let me introduce this amazing lady, friend, mother, and ‘Oma’ to you.
Alleta was born in NYC to Susanne and Saul Freeman, a family of Dutch Jewish ex-pats who were fleeing the terrors of persecution by Nazi Germany. Her parents were negatively impacted by the reality of WWII and their inability to cope with the effects of post war trauma led to Alleta’s neglect. After family upheaval and tragedy, the family of 3 moved to Corpus Christi, Texas to begin a new life as Alleta turned five. Susanna passed in 1995.
Alleta graduated from W.B Ray High School in 1964 and received an Associates of Arts and Literature Degree from Briarcliff, College in New York. She studied a year abroad in Europe, obtained a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from University of Tennessee and Post Graduate studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, Christ For the Nations, Word of Faith Academy, Student of Jewish Heritage and Culture, and Old Testament Theology.
Alleta worked as a News Anchor, News Reporter, Model, Public Relations Liaison, Travel Agent and in Investments with two major investment firms. She served as President for W.E.G.O World Encounter Gospel Organization (Christian Missionaries around the World).
Alleta is Founder/CEO of a charity, The Stanley H. Freeman Memorial Foundation. Ms. Freeman, a cancer survivor, raised 5 boys and girls and is blessed with 14 children whom call her ‘Oma’, which means Grandma in Dutch.
Irene: First question I ask is, how did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
Alleta: Thanks, Irene. I believe this was something God wanted for me from the time I was born. He orchestrated the whole thing. I was born to Jewish family who did not know anything about Christianity, but when they moved away from Europe, they wanted to move away from the terrors of the Holocaust to start a new life. They knew when they came to America, they would have to blend in.
The first move they made was to eschew the trappings of Judaism and become Christians. They joined the Presbyterian Church and 6 weeks after I was born, they had me christened. Now, my parents did not know what that meant, but God knew what that meant. He put His hand on me and this WAS the beginning of my long journey to get to know Jesus…better and better as time has gone on.
This has been a process, that’s what I would call it. A serious process of growth, learning, understanding and being corrected and then more growth, more understanding and enlightenment. I could not go to my family for help. These people were precious, but they could not help me in my walk, so I had to learn all of this on my own. (Photo Courtesy of Alleta Freeman of her parents, Susanna and Saul Freeman)
Irene: Do you remember the day you asked Jesus into your heart?
Alleta: I was fifteen when I began to seek some help from God. I was living in a home where my mom and step-dad were alcoholic’s and were/could be violent. It was very scary because I did not know what to expect when I came home from school. I was always turned upside down, worried and didn’t know what was going to happen when I came home. I tried to avoid coming home and until as late as I could during the day.
I didn’t have a car at fifteen, but as soon as I could, I started driving to have more control over my life. It was during these years between the time my mother and father divorced and she remarried (unknown to her) to a pedophile. I was being molested in my own home and could not escape. This made life very complicated and difficult for a fifteen-year-old girl who was pretty. I could not…did not get free from him. He ruled our household with an iron fist. He was a very, very scary man and my mother and I were trapped. We were literally trapped in our own home. I called myself a prisoner, which I do not regret saying this.
From the years I was eight to fifteen, this was the life I knew after my father passed away. I had no one to go to or my father to protect me and in reality, the church did not help people in those days. They didn’t know what to do. There was not enough information in those days to help women or girls like me. There were no child protective services or therapy for this. You fended for yourself. That’s what I had to do.
My step-father started molesting me when I was nine-years-old. My dad got sick and died by the time I was twelve, so he could not protect me from what was happening. I was suffering, so I went to my best girlfriend, at the time, and they were Christians. I asked her if she thought the church could help. Of course, she was very surprised to hear what was going on in my home. She did think the church could help me and I did go to the church. They did not help me, but they did ask me to pray the sinner’s prayer. I was fifteen, I went forward, prayed the sinner’s prayer and this was the first time I actually made the commitment.
Irene: Thank you, Alleta! I have another question for you. During your life, what stands out most about your relationship with God? Can you think of one thing in particular?
Alleta: My relationship with the Lord is very unique; it does not follow what I would call a standard pattern. You can’t go find my type of relationship with God in the church or in the Sunday School. My relationship with the Lord doesn’t work that way. What it is…is a very spiritual relationship that…where I talk to God as if He was just a person, here in the room with me. Then, He talks back. I would almost call it very personal, but it doesn’t need words. Words don’t have to be said all the time. It’s an understanding and an answer I get ingrained inside me. It becomes very strong inside me. It’s a knowing, a clear knowing and then I pray. When I pray, I pray as if I’m just talking to God…because I am!
Irene: If you could re-live your life since becoming a Christian, what would you have done differently? Perhaps your greatest regret for one thing you wished you might have done…better or something you never quite got to do?
Alleta: I was not a Christian when my husband and I married. My sons, my two glorious sons and I, were also not Christians when we divorced. So, if I had anything to do over, I would not divorce my husband. I would find a way to stick it out and I think this was a mistake I made. Which I’m not trying to say that I judge, I’m saying it was a personal mistake I made. For me, in my walk and my understanding, it would have been better to stay with my husband. (Photo courtesy of Alleta with sons, David and Michael)
Irene: What advice do you give strong, Christian women who are struggling with their brothers who often overpower them? Example 1. Women are to submit to men. That’s some of the doctrine we hear in the church, not all denominations, but it’s out there. 2. Women cannot pastor or preach. What would you have to say about situations with men, in the home, who are a bit overpowering? That’s a lot! (Irene is smiling)
Alleta: I’m sorry I don’t agree with any doctrine or church which does not give women equal rights. I believe women are capable, reliable, dependable, intelligent and bring a side of life to the table which cannot be gotten any other way. I have great respect for women for their input into business and family life, or maybe I’d switch and say, family life and business. I’ve had some ‘breakthrough’ miracles in my family over the years and I’m sure this wouldn’t have occurred if I didn’t have the ability of being able to speak my mind, say what I believe, and to voice my opinion.
I was very young when I started working in the news business and no men wanted to give us our…a chair. They didn’t want to give up their positions. They wanted to be ‘The King’, the ‘rulers’ and that’s true at home, too. Men are basically, I want to call it a bit territorial, and they want to be in control. They want to live large and I understand this. But women are also in need of being heard, listened to, being understood, and being respected. I have great respect for the man who gives his wife a platform.
Irene: As well as pastors, I’m sure?
Alleta: Oh, of course! When I say men…husbands, brothers, bosses. I’m talking about all the men and it starts young. You must teach this to your children. If you’re not teaching equality and respect for ladies to your sons, or if you’re going along with the crowd and dissing ladies for their ideas or just making a woman a lesser being, then this is incorrect. I would stand up against this.
Irene: Simply put, God created them, ‘both’ in His image. Male and female. And they are one flesh, that’s right. That’s right, one cannot operate without the other.
Alleta: It’s a balance! Well, I’m not married, so I’m one flesh with the Lord God Almighty, but I’m not one flesh with a gentleman of any sort. I’m respectful of my sons and as the years have gone on, I won’t tolerate it if they’re not respectful of me.
Irene: That’s right, that’s right. I agree. We have to say, ‘that’s enough’ and what is right! In essence, the last question, and it’s pretty focused: What advice do you give Christian couples?
Alleta: I understand when people get upset with each other. We are always two different people when we’re married. I understand we become one flesh, but we do not become ‘one’ person. We definitely need to be aware we are two people living together. We need to be really, really thoughtful with each other and careful with each other. My biggest advice to all married couples, all couples, and all women in business, mothers, sisters, and anytime you’re in relationships with a fella: ‘forgiveness and space’.
You need a little space. You’ve got to get some space, develop talents, and keep on developing your talents. But, give yourself some space. When there’s an argument…take time out. Take a time out. Take a day, if it needs to be, or two days, but come back together with forgiveness in your heart. Forgiveness is the key to a happy marriage! A happy marriage and a successful in any other male/female relationship.
Irene: Well, thank you so much, Alleta! You’ve been great; talking to you. We love you!
Alleta: My pleasure! I love you!