In 1847, freed slave John Berry Meachum partnered with a white pastor to create The Freedom School on a Mississippi River riverboat near Saint Louis, Missouri. Its mission was to set children free from the legal bonds that made educating slave children illegal. This school represented a beacon of light in direct opposition to the darkness of slaves being sold on the steps of the Old Courthouse.

One hundred and seventeen years later, during the turbulent summer of 1964, ‘Freedom Schools’ were developed as part of the Freedom Summer Civil Rights Project in Mississippi and bordering states; it was part of an effort to increase voter education and registration among disenfranchised African Americans living in the Jim Crow Era.

Thirty-three years later The Freedom School (University City, Missouri) was founded by New City Fellowship Church (Presbyterian Church in America) to help free children from the bondage of lives unreconciled to God. The Freedom School belongs to a network of ministries collectively called Restore Saint Louis. Restore Saint Louis endeavors to manifest God’s love to the poor, widows, orphans, immigrants, and refugees of Saint Louis through acts of justice and mercy. The Freedom School seeks to demonstrate these values in an educational context.