Paul Freeland

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Paul Buttterfield Freeland

(Louisiana minister, historian,
and philanthropist)

Born September 15, 1904
Crowley, Acadia Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died November 1, 1976 (aged 72)
Interred at Crowley Protestant Cemetery
Religion Presbyterian

Paul Butterfield Freeland (September 15, 1904 – November 1, 1976) was a Presbyterian clergyman, historian, philanthropist, and genealogist in his native Crowley in Acadia Parish, Louisiana.

Freeland was the son of Charles J. Freeland, Sr., and the former Almyra Butterfield. He graduated in 1921 from Crowley High School and then attended the Presbyterian-affiliated Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where Woodrow Wilson had studied in the early 1870s. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson in 1925 and obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1928 from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He did postgraduate study at New College in Edinburgh, Scotland.[1]

He pastored Presbyterian churches in Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, Covington in St. Tammany Parish, and Duncan in Stephens County, Oklahoma, near Lawton. He was also the secretary of Overseas Relief for the Presbyterian Churc and served on the board of the Presbyterian Historical Foundation at Montreat, North Carolina.[1] In 1951, he wrote a letter to Time magazine in which he decried "the forgotten Arab refugees." In remarks some might consider still relevant in the 21st century, Freeland referred to a "neglected" situation which has led to "deterioration not only in the physical and [the] moral condition of the Arab refugees but also of our international relations . . . "[2]

Freeland wrote The First Presbyterian Church of Crowley, Louisiana, 1890-1965 and coauthored Acadia Parish, Louisiana: A History to 1900. His collection of photographs and memorabilia of the Crowley area is located in the archives of the Acadia Parish Library.[1] He also donated a collection to the Confederate Stamp Alliance.[3]

At his death, Freeland left a stamp collection which sold for $2 million to four Presbyterian churches. A fourth of that amount financed the building of a library annex at the Presbyterian Historical Foundation at Montreat, North Carolina. Dedicated on August 15, 1982, the annex was named "Paul B. Freeland Hall".[1] The "Paul B. Freeland Professorship" is given in his honor at Davidson College in biology, philosophy, and religion.[4][5]

He is interred at the Crowley Protestant Cemetery.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Paul Butterfield Freeland, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 321.
  2. Letters. Time (October 22, 1951). Retrieved on April 22, 2019.
  3. A concise history of the Confederate Stamp Alliance. Retrieved on April 22, 2019.
  4. Pre-medicine at Davidson. Retrieved on April 22, 2019.
  5. John Heil. From an Ontological Point of View. Retrieved on April 22, 2019.