Growing up in Faith Healing Cult Faith Assembly, led by Hobart E. Freeman

Hobart E. Freeman

Hobart E. Freeman, leader of faith healing cult Faith Assembly, in North Webster, IN

I was born and raised in a faith healing cult from birth to age 15.  Members of the cult, Faith Assembly (not affiliated with Faith Assembly of God), led by Hobart E. Freeman believed and practiced the following:

  • No doctors, dentists or medical care (pray to God for healing)
  • Belief that if no healing occurred, your faith was too weak (a sin)
  • No television
  • No holiday celebrations (not even Christmas or Easter)
  • No involvement in school sports or clubs (“Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers”)
  • Frequent exorcisms as a common cure all remedy (especially for the mentally ill)
  • No voting in political elections
  • Home schooling of children highly recommended, but not mandatory
  • No dating from within the church, and especially not outside of it
  • Minimization of contact with the outside world, including cutting off contact with ‘non-believing’ family and friends

I was “saved” or “born again” at age 3 and baptized.   I was raised and brain washed by my parents and the church.    I first felt the twinge of skepticism in third grade, when more than anything I wanted to play on the basketball team.   But I was forbidden to play by my parents and the church.

Even though II Corinthians 6:14 said, “Be ye not unequally yoked to unbelievers,” I felt discomfort because I wanted to play on the basketball team, further discomfort for my “sin” of desiring to disobey my parents in that regard, but most importantly, a very vague logical discomfort that something did not add up rationally.

The skepticism grew as I grew physically and mentally, and probably peaked some time around age 14, when I became an all-out rebel.  During this time period, although my parents did not vote in political elections, I was raised with very typical conservative Republican political values, which I wholeheartedly embraced.

Educationally, I excelled with little effort at public schools.   I am very grateful that I was one of the lucky children in the cult that was allowed to attend public schools, and I received a top notch public school education.   Socially, I was somewhat of an outcast, as contact any contact with kids at school that did not take place at school was strictly forbidden.

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45 comments
  1. RR said:

    I saw Your videos on YouTube and read this article. I attended a satellite of Faith Assembly out West called arrogantly “Shekinah Glory Ministries.”

    Freeman’s son-in-law Steve Hill would come out there and preach and he wasn’t all bad like the rest of that Cult nor was the other son-in-law of Freeman, Bruce Kinsey. They both left after Freeman died nuts in late 84… the Cult out West split up when the false shepherd croaked like 90+ people out there died in Warsaw, Indiana; so too did people in Wyoming’s satellite Cult die untreated in fear of Doctors and Medical Help.

    The one Preacher fraud the most despicable though was another Freemanite, Tom Hamilton out in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He was arrogant and conceited to the hilt and came out West to hunt and kill and be taken care of by the laity of that Church Cult. Yeah, I remember it well… he called the Pastor out there “Little Magnum” implying he was some big stud “Magnum” Preacherman… I have NEVER known anyone so arrogant/conceited like Hamilton to this day.

    People in the Cult out West were abused, scammed, degraded and the 4 Ministers were deviant perverts… one was wife-beater, the other had affair with his sister-in-law, the other was young conceited, but the false Pastor Tom Rush was a power freak who degraded anyone he felt jealous of intellectually. Lots of sick went on out there and when Freeman died the Cult split and egos took them apart…

    I was young then and walked away never to touch a Church over 20+ years and learned how Cults operate and what it is to de-program from that poison. These Preacher fundies play anthropomorphism and make God/Deity in THEIR Image and since most of them are Cult sociopaths, then their God is an angry serial-killer like they would be if they could get away with it like say the Vatican during the Inquisition and Dark Ages.

    I never saw Faith Assembly like some did who went out there in Cult-of-Personality adulation of Hobart E. Freeman. I heard his tapes as he got sicker in illness and got more psycho on those tapes and people bought it hook/line/sinker… sad…

    It was interesting to see what that place looked like on this site. I wondered… now I know what the Hub was that damn near destroyed my own Life and my young son since I was very young single Dad then. It’s NOT forgotten and NOT forgiven. My answer is to fight NWO Cults like this to my last day on Earth and expose them.

    Peace, and thanks… this filled a gap in time I wondered long years about…

    RR

    • jerry mcgovern said:

      My brother in new orleans & later my family became ‘freemanites’ through the “Philadelphia church in metaireie La. (New Orleans). my sister at 22 developed cervical cancer. One freemanite wouldnt pray for her because she had “seen a doctor ” I can still hear…”WHO DO YOU BELIEVE SISTER GOD OR THE DOCTORS?…YOU CALLING GOD A LIAR? “______________i barely survived this auschwitz…..my only sister….did not..~~ MAUREEN GAIL MCGOVERN 1956-1982~~

      • Michelle said:

        Jerry could you please contact me via e-mail

    • In the fight they became like the thing they were fighting. An ingrown toenail that smelled like rotten cheese. However, Jesus never lived in a cave. He was a friend of sinners and even ate with them, but he never fellowshipped with their darkness but came to save them from their sins.The kingdom insulates you, it does not isolate you. We are in the world but not of it, so we do not leave the world. We are the salt and light of the world.

    • Elizabeth (Trescott) Musar said:

      I grew up in the Milwaukee branch (there were two of them that competed & disagreed, but both followed Freeman.) Ours was led by Harvey Giese and the other was led by Gary Edye. It was a horrible way to grow up. Pls let me know how anyone rectifies dealing with their parents now. Do you let them be grandparents to your kids? Even though they have “separated” from this – they never admit that the old Faith-healing days were wrong. And they get angry if you insinuate that they were wrong.

    • Michelle said:

      Woukd you be willing to talk to me via email please? I need questions answered

      • Yes, I would. I was a child of Faith Assembly, met Dr. Freeman multiple times, and have.many memories, some good, some not so good. What was it you needed to ask, if I may?
        My name is Allen, my email is pecktrain00@gmail.com feel free to contact me

  2. janet said:

    How sick the offshoots of Freeman are.Who should be ashamed of pointing fingers when so many families point their grown up fingers at parents who were sincere. Pray for those now grownup but still children and pray for yourselves if Shelbyville is your headquarters.

  3. Joe Albert said:

    I knew several people who were involved in that cult. Does anyone know Steve Kinsey? He left Warsaw all of the sudden. I have had a hard time locating him. The closest I got was that he went to Indianapolis and worked as sales representative. I tried to contact Bruce Kinsey, but was told that he passed away. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. Elizabeth (Trescott) Musar said:

    I remember Bruce Kinsey.

  5. Lori said:

    I read the pamphlet at a home church and need to deprogram from this cult. Does anyone have the truths to put in place of all the lies? Thanks!

    • Ned Landry said:

      In the late eightys, I had a friend who was a Freemanite,who tried to drag me, a new and ignorant believer down that path. My wife and I were appalled at his treatment of his family and lack of love towards them and the world, and we quickly disassociated from him. The true Holy Spirit gave us the common sense and discernment to see something wrong very quickly and we took action. It’s always amazing to see people who are so strong in the knowledge of the word get so decieved by flawed leaders. Jesus said he was the good shepherd. That makes us sheep, and I can see why. Cult members are not following Christ, but following men who claim to be following Christ. We can easily see our way out if we look at the produced fruit.

      • Lori said:

        Ned,
        I find your comment to be rude and uncompassionate. God told me they were a cult after 4 weeks yet it greatly affected me. I did need to deprogram. I look back on my wound that God allowed to see that God has already used me to help others get out of cults and renounce their practices.
        For anyone who has been affected by Hobart Freeman, God has shown me the major lies. The major lie has to do with healing, God is sovern when it comes to healing. Please use medicine and doctors. This is the main area that Hobart Freeman was in error. The other lie is pride that you should only listen to pastors who speak in tongues because they hear God “better.” The truth is God uses whoever He wants and the person does not have to speak in tongues at all.

        • Lori, God did NOT tell you this. HE won’t contradict His Word. Sadly you are trying to express yourself as someone spiritual yet miss simple things like God will not interfere with free will.

          Here is a simple test of your ‘revelation’. If God is sovern when it comes to healing, then why is there sickness?

          Why did Jesus tell people “Your faith has made you whole”. That is the Bible, not some twist on it.

          God only works by faith, hope, and love. MIss one of those and nothing happens, whether God wanted it or not.

          • Lori said:

            Your comment makes no sense. Are you saying this is not a cult? Because I believe it is and God told me it was twice. This guy twists Gods word and I only found freedom when I got out of agreement with the lies he teaches.

            • Logan canaday said:

              You’re ignorance on this matter is extremely astonishing, no one on here knows anything about the teachings of Hobart freeman or what it actually means to walk by faith and have the father God be you’re true healer and the one you rely on for anything and everything concerning healing to financial areas of your life, I have grown up in a church started by a man from the glory barn who’s name I shall leave out of this so you can’t curse his name. Everything that has been said on here has been from skewed views of what you all have heard in the news or from very minut research, how about you actually try going to a service sometime and finding out for yourself how everything goes on there. I have gone to many other church’s and ALL of them are dry and lacking so much! Faith assembly has and will always be the only church that I can go to and actually feel the presence of God during the worship service and during the message, and I see God walking through everyone there. All our prospering in every aspect of life and our debt free. Yes there are a few things I do not agree with that go on there, but that does not change my stand point on anything in this matter

              • Lori said:

                One of the lies this church teaches is that they are the only place you can see or feel the Holy Spirit and you should only listen to a spirit filled Faith Assembly person teach or preach. That gave me a load of pride. I was never free until I renounced all the lies. Where do you live, I can send you a list of lots of churches where you can feel the Holy Spirit. I’m glad you saw this, at least a seed has been planted. The first place I saw warning signs was the Internet and then the Lord told me himself.

              • Anonymous said:

                I grew up under the teachings of Tom Hamilton and strongly believe this is a cault.I’m trying to write a book on the church and people who have so bravely left the church so if you are willing to share your stories I would love to hear them. Please email me at boisseaujessica325@gmail.com.
                Thx

  6. Howard said:

    My family members were a part of this cult in North Webster. As a result, my uncle died because he thought “faith” would cure a fatal disease that needed the medical attention he refused to receive. They deny it was a cult and still hold to some of the off-the-wall rationales to this day. We were never allowed to celebrate Halloween because it’s “the devil’s holiday.” I always wondered what was so devilish about dressing up and getting candy. Anyways, thanks for posting this… the strong denial of my brainwashed family was leading me to think I was the crazy one that found this religion to be a cult.

  7. Anonymous said:

    As long as you know Jesus as Savior and follow the bible. You’ll be good.

  8. M.McFadden said:

    I was a member of the Lafayette Assembly for several years. I already knew God as my Father and Christ as my Saviour before I got there, so when I left, I did not “lose my salvation”. Where I believe the movement went wrong was the extremes to which teachings and practices were taken, and also personal convictions of leaders being taught as binding doctrine for all of the members. I did go through a soul-searching before I left and after I left, during which time I examined my faith to determine what I really believed and why. I was able to sort through it by going directly to God in prayer and staying in the Scriptures, and making sure that I was “fully persuaded in my own mind” (Romans 14). It ended up working for my ultimate good. I have since repented to my family for my treatment of them, and made ammends to them. My family relationships have been restored. I am now a Christian clergyman. The lessons I learned – both positively and negatively – have served me well. We can learn from everything that we go through – if we are teachable. I am sad for those who have thrown out everything that they ever learned or experienced from God, because one group they were in went off the deep end. People, and leaders, and church movements come and go. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are forever – so is His Word, and eternal life with Him.

  9. Bill Hayes said:

    I read “Deeper Life in the Spirit” back in the early 70’s and found it to be a deep book full of truth…And I have read it several times since…I see nothing wrong with the teaching in this book…I never knew of the “cult” thing until recently…

  10. T.L. Eaton said:

    I was exposed to Hobart Freeman’s teaching for many years and will say I found him to be one of the best bible scholars of modern times and the Christians that followed his teaching to be the salt of the earth type people. Sure some had personal problems but Freeman’s teachings offer solid answers. That was my experience, and I am not along. All this hate for his teaching cannot be based in facts. I first heard of him in the mid seventies and followed his teachings until his death. I don’t believe the man had a evil bone in his body. But if he was wrong about something he will answer to the same God we all do. We need more Christians living like those Faith Assembly members did, That’s what will preserve peace in the this land for our children.

    • I was a member of a German Branch of this teachings. That means, we have been a little group of
      mostly young people, listening to cassettes of Faith Assembly. I must confess, although we have not been under the direct influence of Dr. Freeman or other teachers, I think, the effects of what we heard was nearly the same. This went on for a few years and after Dr. Freemans death a kind of questioning the whole thing started. But some People, me included had been insecure, depressed,
      and legalistic. Joy was gone …. But, those years taught me a lot. You know how brainwashing works
      and what you never ever want to experience again. I very seldom realized Gods love and
      there was not much love in me. But wounds are healed, especially, because all things work together for good to those who love God. And I love Him and I realized, that those hard times made me a little
      bit stronger.

      • Betina, some folks came from Germany to Grand Centre, Alberta, do you know any of them?

    • Jesus' Disciple said:

      T.L. Eaton, it is because of Bro. Freeman’s love for holiness and complete loyalty to Jesus, in personal conscience, and not being afraid to share the burden that that holiness be duplicated in others, that I am what I am, today, as a Christian; born again in 1979, at the age of 22. It is because of Bro. Freeman’s faithfulness TO that holiness, and the only means whereby one attains it, THROUGH FAITH, that I have seen God deliver me for over 35 years now from nothing but trial, heartache, and you name it; never, ever failing (though chastised for my own self-righteous pride/doubt, etc.), and because of the endurance that Bro. Freeman encouraged the believer to maintain through all those trials, trusting God no matter what, that I am as strong in the Lord and the power of His might–in holiness and love–that I am. What I have seen God do and restore! The deliverances from the powers of darkness!, etc., without trusting in the arm of the flesh, and putting to practice the faith that we were encouraged to embrace, so that GOD gets ALL the glory, seeing His precious word, time and time and time again succeed and triumph!!! NO! It didn’t happen overnight! NO! I didn’t have it happen MY way! YES! I had to suffer great losses and see a multitude of “back-firing”, but the freedom/love/peace/strong faith and best of all, a holy (heart) life of devotion to a holy God and worthy Savior has put every bit of flesh into its proper perspective, only confirming just what a message of holiness Bro. Freeman had. Where else can you find that kind of truth? And someone willing to pay the price, even when misunderstood and despised. He had tremendous grace on his life to fulfill what none of the “whiners” have proven they’ve been willing to live, themselves, before bad-mouthing Bro. Freeman who they don’t know at all, because they don’t know Jesus Christ, themselves, in His absolute holiness. What love of God to tell us the truth about ourselves!, in all our being prone to selfishness, and compromise, because of the deceitfulnesses of our hearts, to think we can have His holiness and just a little bit of the world to make us not suffer persecution too much… Those who are embittered are because they never, personally, wrestled with their own utter depravity, proving God’s servant was in fact speaking truth. Had they, truly, spent the hours, time, and even years, if that’s what it would take to see the word proven right, they would have come to, humbly, acknowledge this profound love of God, for the sinner. Too many people got disillusioned when Bro. freeman died, because they, THEMSELVES, put their trust in a man, and if they were honest with themselves, would recall his telling those who heard him preach: CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELVES!! Those disillusioned ones, instead of taking personal responsibility to have God penetrate their own deficient hearts, when things didn’t go their way, just had to find someone to blame, so it was Bro Freeman. Oh! Where would I be today, had it not been for that man’s faithfulness to preach the truth!! The deliverances from the occult, just for one thing, that I desperately needed when I was saved, were as a result of those messages of faith and holiness; ALWAYS side by side!! Praise God! Just because of someone’s personal doubts that may well have been the foundation to what became personal legalism in any given individual or “follower” as a “Freemanite”, because they weren’t willing to humble their pride and get to the very bottom of their own unbelief, doesn’t mean Bro. Freeman was the cause of all their problems. The comment made about Halloween, for example, is made by someone who denies the reality of the very devil they say is just to be reduced to an innocent costume and collecting candy on Oct. 31st., (having been delivered from the deceptions of occult darkness, myself, and knowing it is a bona fide satanic holiday, they scorn something they do not understand). So, how can they be a credible judge and complainer here, as to the spiritual integrity manifested in Bro. Freeman? When are we going to be honest with ourselves? About our secret love affair with the world and its ways?

      • Logan canaday said:

        Amen!!

  11. innertubes said:

    TL Eaton, you realize over 100 people died because of him? Mostly children whose parents withheld basic medical care because of his teachings?

    • Anonymous said:

      I became a nurse and I know I’m not going to hell for it! I remember this boy 2 rows up and to the right that came to church with a broken arm it looked terrible and I’m sure was never set proper! I always wonder about him

  12. whitemat1 said:

    Hobart Freeman was an apostate. I found a book “Churches That Abuse” by Ronald M. Enroth. Chapter 9 of the book talks about Beth Farrell and her family’s experience at Faith Assembly. Very sobering chapter. The truth is many victims from many cults are still living today in our mid 40s, growing families, while still harboring these scars from the first third of our lives of which we had zero control over.

  13. For those who care, Tom Hamilton has passed away.

    • innertubes said:

      Sorry to hear that Steve, thanks for posting the information.

  14. Anonymous said:

    Tom Hamilton was one of the most insperational people i have ever met. His messages will impact my life for ever. He is one of the the only people i have ever met who truly taught the word of God. He never cared what people thought of his messages, he taught the truth, not what people wanted to hear, but what was Gods word. Tom Hamilton was the same person inside and outside church, spreading gods word, impacting countless people, he died doing what he loved. Tom Hamilton was the most godly man i have ever met, his teachings will impact my life forever.

    “He Kept The Faith”

    • Anonymous said:

      I’m also sad he’s passed he was such a blessing. I listened via internet and still his death has hit me hard. I am so blessed by his ministry and thankful for both Tom and Hobart. All they did was point people to the word. That’s the first flaw with most who fell away or became hateful. They were following a person and not searching the scripture out for themselves to actually see what was in their own hearts.

    • Anonymous said:

      Tom Hamilton was an old man with no marketable job skills who had to hold onto his sheep for income. He came to my home and asked me to help him teach in his church. He had heard my tapes refuting the Greater Works Ministry. I refused because I knew what hypocrites they all were
      Chino Ross

      • Anonymous said:

        I will pray for you. It’s so sad to hear such bitterness against someone who has already gone on to their eternal reward. May you be granted repentance. How will spend eternity worshipping God with someone against whom you have such hard feelings?

  15. Michelle said:

    Could you please contact me via email, I have some questions I need to ask, please and thank you so much!

    • Louis Mitchell said:

      Michelle, I was a member of Faith Assembly for years in the early 80’s. I was only a teenager then, but I’d answer any questions you or others may have.
      Myemail95695@gmail.com
      My name is Louis. My father was Marshall who was (mostly) faithful to the teachings until his passing.

  16. Shelby boisseau said:

    I grew up under the teachings of Tom Hailmton in Shelbyville Kentucky. We lived 2 1/2 hours away in Ohio and never missed a service. As a young girl of only 5 or 6 years old I remember Mr. Hailmton making a point about people who left the church. I was terrified of leaving the church for fear of going to hell like all those other people who left the church. I’m trying to write a book about the church and people who have left. I would love to have other stories other than mine and if you are willing to share please email me at boisseaujessica325@gmail.com. thanks.

  17. Louis Mitchell said:

    I was just a teenager when my father, Marshall, and I attended Faith Assembly in Indiana during the 1980s. I would like to talk to people who were there at the same time. Please contact me at:
    Myemail95695@gmail.com
    Thank you
    Louis

  18. FT said:

    I lost my first marriage to Faith Assembly in1985. I never became involved in the church, but my wife was all in. I thought I was losing my mind, and it wasn’t until I read a syndicated expose article from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in 1983 that I realized what I was up against. I was able to contact the authors and network with families of church members. The Olesons were a wonderful support for me. God bless them.

    Years later it just seems like a bad dream. My children are grown and seem to be normal, but it ruined my life with them, as my ex-wife got custody.

    Hobart Freeman ruined many lives.

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