CLEARWATER BEACH - Chapel-By-The-Sea and friends from other area churches feted the Chapel's Pastor Herb Freitag and his wife Lorraine, the Chapel's Director of Education, Sunday, November 12, on the occasion of their twenty fifth anniversary at the Chapel and also on Herb's 40 years in the ministry. Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard presented Freitag with a key to the city for his contributions to the community and providing "Sunscreen for the Soul".
Chapel member Fred Bickel toasted the couple before a large gathering of well wishers. "Today we celebrate something rare in these times--an anniversary of 25 years of dedication, education and spiritual guidance by two people who have devoted their time and energy to benefit Chapel-By-The-Sea members, friends, the Clearwater community, and so many others including the International Council of Community Churches. We are twice blessed that they chose Chapel-By- The-Sea; we have all benefited from their talents and abilities, which they shared so generously…They have helped make the Chapel the church it is today."
The Freitags arrived in Florida 25 years ago by way of Ohio, where Herb served for 11 years as the pastor of the Scottwood Community Church.
In addition to ministering, Freitag formerly edited The Christian Community, the official publication of the National Council of Community Churches. At present, he is the president of the International Council of Community Churches and has served previously on their board of trustees. Freitag also sits on the boards of Morton Plant Mease Hospital, Hospice of the Florida Suncoast and the Florida Fellowship of Community Churches.
Upon his arrival in Clearwater Beach, Frietag told the local press that every new minister faces an evaluation period, and he intended during this period and beyond to hold a wide variety of programs for all age groups at Chapel-By-The-Sea.
Chapel member Leeley Myers, said Freitag has done what he said he would do early on in his ministry at the Chapel. "I think that Pastor Herb has accomplished that beautifully. We have all sorts of programs for kids, including their garden, which they harvest and donate to the Religious Community Services (RCS) food pantry. The kids also collect swim suits for Tampa kids. Our children are always doing something. Adults here at the Chapel keep busy too with worship and congregational events. Pastor Herb conducts a 9 a.m. Bible study every Sunday, and we hold numerous fellowship and outreach activities and dinners."
Lorraine has contributed also in bringing such fellowship to the Chapel. She taught public school in Ohio and as the Chapel's Director of Education oversees the programs for children, teens and adults.
One of the programs of the numerous programs Chapel members get involved in is the Relay for Life which raises funds for cancer research. Last April, 50 Chapel members participated in the walk and raised $4,000 for the cause.
Chapel-By-The-Sea is an interfaith community church that was started in 1949 by 120 members of the community from 8 different denominations who would gather on Clearwater Beach. Before the Chapel's construction, the early worshippers would borrow hymnals and chairs for services.
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