Name: Kathryn Annette Freeman
Ministry: Christian Life Commission
Position: Director of Public Policy
Where did you grow up?
Grand Prairie, Texas
How old were you when you became a Christian and what is the strongest memory about that time?
I became a Christian at seven years old. I remember learning about inviting Jesus into my heart at Vacation Bible School. I remember being very excited about taking the pre-baptism class and obsessively wearing my salvation bracelet until it fell off.
Where did you do your undergrad?
Texas A&M University (WHOOP!)
If you did any post-graduate work, where did you attend and what degree did you earn?
University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
As Director of Public Policy, you are probably very passionate about politics. What about politics intrigues you?
I wouldn't say I am passionate about politics. I think politics makes people very cynical, but implementing good public policy is really what makes people choose government service. Politics is just the strange appetizer you have to eat to get to the delicious main course. I am passionate about helping people and using government policy as one way to transform lives for the better.
You just stepped into this position, what are you most excited about?
I am most excited about helping Texas Baptists get involved in their government in Austin, in DC and in their communities in order to advocate for a more just government based on biblically sound principles.
What do you feel is the most important thing about the CLC's move to Austin?
I don't think the CLC's presence in Austin, should overshadow all of the other great work the CLC is engaged in all over the state.
How do you foresee the CLC affecting change here?
Hopefully, the CLC can be a light at the Capitol (Matthew 5:14). I hope the CLC can improve laws related to predatory lending, criminal justice, public education and human trafficking. I hope we can bring together to solve these complex problems in a way that both glorifies God and makes life better for "the least of these."
What issue do you feel is highly important today? Why? Where can people find out more information on this issue?
I think one highly important issue that is beginning to receive more attention is criminal justice reform. Policymakers are beginning to look at this issue because incarceration rates have surged and prisons have become more costly, often without effectively rehabilitating offenders. Proper rehabilitation of ex-offenders is important to prevent future criminal activity. It is incredibly hard for ex-offenders to be reintegrated into society; they face difficulty in finding jobs and housing, and they and their families are often outcasts in their communities. We, as people of faith, know what it means to be forgiven and redeemed; therefore, we should extend that same forgiveness and redemption to ex-offenders who have served their time and are looking for a second chance to get it right.
People can find out more about this issue by visiting the Smart on Crime Coalition website, smartoncrimetexas.com. The Texas Smart on Crime Coalition is a bipartisan group dedicated to working on these issues during the legislative session. You can also visit the CLC Community Care page for additional resources as many churches are already engaged in prison and restorative justice ministries.
The mid-term election is coming up. What do you feel are things or issues voters need to keep in mind during this election?
I think the voters should think about the things that are important to them, but also look around and see the needs of their neighbors and community and then choose the candidates that will do the most to alleviate those needs.
What are you most passionate about? How does this play into your daily life?
Jesus. It means living surrendered to His will, it means loving other people well, and it means believing Him even when I can't see His hand.
What is something not many people know about you?
I don't really like public speaking. It takes a lot of prayer for me to get up in front of a group of any size from the bible study I lead to testifying in front of a committee at the Capitol.
What was the most edifying thing someone has said to you?
"You are a really good big sister."
What are some of your favorite places to spend time in Austin?
Torchy's Tacos, Hiatus Spa and Retreat, Vintage Heart Coffee Shop, the LBJ Presidential Library and the Blanton Museum
What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, Shopping, Sharing meals with friends
Who is your favorite author? What book of theirs really impacted you?
Such a tough question for an avid reader, but if I have to choose the most impactful author it would be Jennie Allen. She wrote a book a few years ago entitled "Anything" that just wrecked me. It totally transformed my thinking on surrender and what it really means to "live is Christ."