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Our Founder

In 2005, Dr. Soaries launched the dfree® Financial Freedom Movement.

Our Founder

Reverend Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.

The Reverend Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. has served as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) in Somerset, New Jersey since November 1990. His pastoral ministry focuses on spiritual growth, educational excellence and economic empowerment.

As a pioneer of faith-based community development, Dr. Soaries’ impact on First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) and the community has been tremendous. In 1992, he founded the Central Jersey Community Development Corporation (CJCDC): a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that specializes in revitalizing distressed neighborhoods. In 1996, Soaries founded the Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc. (HOH). This organization develops permanent solutions for children in the foster care system.

From 1999 to 2002, Dr. Soaries served as New Jersey’s Secretary of State, making him the first African-American male to do so. He also served as the former chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission, which was established by Congress to implement the “Help America Vote Act” of 2002.

In 2005, Dr. Soaries launched the dfree® Financial Freedom Movement and, years later, developed an academy. The dfree® Online Academy teaches people how to break free from debt as the first step toward financial freedom. Dr. Soaries and his team were featured in a 90-minute CNN documentary called “Almighty Debt.” He is the author of the books Say Yes to No Debt: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom” and “Meditations for Financial Freedom – Volumes 1, 2 & 3.”