GOD AND FREEDOM MEDAL
Conceived by Dr. Frederick A. Barnhill while serving as chaplain in U.S. Armed Forces. In 1951, when Dr. Barnhill was pastor of First Congregational Church, Phoenix, AZ, the Men's Club sponsored his idea and issued the medal. Original design by George Christie, banker; final drawings by artist William Van Baker.
Intended as a pocket piece "for all persons regardless of their race or creed," the God and Freedom medal "is a tangible symbol of the two things most needed...in the world." It is presented on a card bearing the following message:
"Freedom Thru God. This pocket piece will be a constant reminder that the teachings of God are the only foundation upon which individual freedom and integrity of man are based. If the way sometimes seems dark, reach in to your pocket, grasp this medal and as your fingers move across the words 'God and Freedom,' say a silent prayer in the fervent hope that you will have the strength, vision, deep determination and faith to hold God's banner high in the crusade toward a better world."
First 250 medals were hand cast in sterling silver by Fred Rhodes, Scottsdale, AZ, jewelry manufacturer. In 1953, the Men's Club received $1,000 award for the medal from Freedoms Foundation, Inc., Valley Forge, PA. The money was used to have dies made to increase production and reduce costs. Medals first were machine struck in copper because of Arizona's identification with the copper industry. Not popular, their issue was limited to 1,000 pieces and sterling silver was used in the machine striking of an additional 7,937 medals.
Photos courtesy of John Dean
Obv. Cross; above, God; textured field
Rev. U.S. flag; microscopic © to upper l.; below flag, Freedom; textured field
HK-916 Silver, plain edge. 34mm.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher
Obv. Similar to obverse of No. 916 [Cross; above, God] but plain cross on plain field, with God in a larger, serif font
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 916 [U.S. flag; below flag, Freedom] but different depiction of flag, Freedom in larger, serif font, and Copyrighted Rev. F. A. Barnhill. Phoenix, Ariz. below all, plain field
HK-917 Copper, plain edge. 32mm.HK-914 to HK-915