All posts in “Community”

Big Day of Serving Featured Image

Big Day of Serving

Big Day of Serving

Back in March we hosted our reSTART 2018 Concert featuring recording artist Crowder.  Through the course of the concert and ticket sales we raised $18,000 to invest back in to the city of Rockford.  What we want to do with the funds is to mobilize First Free Rockford to serve our community and demonstrate the love of God in a very practical way.

May 19th, 2018 we will use the $18,000 to fund the BIG DAY OF SERVING where we will partner with Rockford Public Schools, Rockford Rescue Mission, and the Rockford Park District to carry out landscaping and beautification projects to bring new life to our city in areas that desperately need it.

All three projects will happen simultaneously on the morning of Saturday May 19th from 8:00AM – 12:00PM.

Project Locations:

  • Whitehead Elementary School
  • Rockford Rescue Mission
  • Martin Park

Join Us

If you are interested in join us please sign up at the Events Desk on Sunday mornings at First Free Rockford.

Community Choir Festival

Community Choir Festival

Community Choir Festival

First Free Rockford is once again hosting a Community Choir Festival with Dr. Gary Bonner. If you like to sing – then this is for you!

Dr. Gary Bonner conducting the choir

On Friday and Saturday, February 2 & 3, singers from all around the region will come together in one mighty chorus, and we want you to join us! Rehearsals are Friday evening 7-9:30pm and Saturday 9am-3pm. (Lunch is included in your registration fee)

Then on Saturday at 6pm will be a free Community Choir Concert.


Don’t miss the thrill of being a part of this large community choir made up of singers of all ages from all over the mid-west. We will sing, laugh, and learn together. The weekend culminates with a free concert for our community.

For Singers of all levels and musical talents. Everyone learns something!


If you are looking to infuse joy, energy, and passion into your music program, then this is a weekend that you and your singers simply shouldn’t miss!


If you have questions, please call Renee Cooper at (815) 877-7046 or email


Register Online


Choir receiving instruction

Lydia Home

Lydia Home receives funds to train staff.

I want to thank First Free for the Jeremiah Fund Grant to Lydia Urban Academy last spring.
For some time, Lydia has been serving many low-income Rockford youth who had been unsuccessful in their previous schools and who needed a non-traditional classroom setting as well as appropriate specialized intervention to improve their chances for earning a diploma and gaining the life skills for employment so that they can contribute to their community. Our classroom ratio is 10:1, which allows students to receive more help from the teacher. We use much project-based learning experiences so that students can learn subject matter material in different ways, allowing a student to express their learning in ways appropriate for their learning skills and abilities. It had become increasingly apparent that our specialized intervention program, utilizing the  NILD (National Institute for Learning Development) program, needed to expand so the Jeremiah Fund contribution helped make it possible to train additional staff so we could expand help to low-income students who otherwise could not afford such services. So many of our students have Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s) and 504 Plans and still were unsuccessful in their previous schools because their achievement scores were often 4 or more years below their expected grade level. For them to earn diplomas and become successful in getting jobs, they needed intensive intervention that would change the way they learn and help them develop strategies to become efficient and effective learners at the level that would allow them to become successful and independent. NILD Educational Therapists are trained to guide learning and mediate student’s thinking to higher levels with good questioning, utilizing specific academic and processing techniques so they can make more than a year’s progress academically in one year, rather than to continue to lose ground each year they are in school. The NILD philosophy is based on the expectation that cognition and academic difficulties can be improved, giving student’s new hope in the future. This year we were able to provide  Educational Therapy to three more Lydia students and we expect that more will be added during the year.

Thanks again for the Jeremiah Fund contribution.

Vesta Gillette