Chester A. Fredd, Sr., 1906-1997

Fredd, Chester.jpg


Chester A. Fredd, Sr., 1906-1997


Fredd, Chester A., Sr., 1906-1997


Dedicated – determined – hard working – and a believer in every young mind, Chester Fredd was born on January 26, 1906, in Sawyerville, Alabama. He achieved his early education in Hale County schools, attending a one room school during his elementary years, and later attending Stephens Memorial School in Greensboro, where his father was the principal. He received his B.S. and masters degrees from Alabama State University, and later did his doctoral studies at Fisk University and New York University, receiving an honorary doctorate from Selma University.

Fredd started teaching in 1927 just after he received his high school diploma. In those days, a person could start teaching if they passed the state teachers exam. Fredd said he actually took the teachers exam and passed it when he was in the ninth grade. He became a junior high school principal immediately after finishing high school. After one year, he entered college.  

Fredd worked as principal of the Morgan County Training School but came back to his native Hale County to serve as principal of Hale County Training School in 1947. Fredd was principal of the school until 1965 when he was appointed the first president of Tuscaloosa State Technical College, later named C.A. Fredd Technical College in his honor. The college merged with Shelton State Community College in 1994.

Hattie Fredd usually taught school at the same place as her husband. The couple’s son, C.A. Fredd Jr., was acting dean of instruction at C.A. Fredd State Technical College in 1990 and later became dean of the campus. The couple had two daughters, both who worked in education.

During his tenure at C. A. Fredd State Technical College, Dr. Fredd not only served as president, but he would go into the neighboring counties to encourage young people to seek education beyond high school. He mentored, supported, and even would provide any financial assistance possible to make sure that students in need would have the opportunity to live a productive life.

C. A. Fredd was a builder in everything that he did and impacted lives in so many diverse ways, serving in a variety of community, service and religious leadership roles during his distinguished career, which included active leadership in the Alabama State Teachers Association, Alabama Retired Teachers Association, Alabama Leadership Study Council, Alabama Baptist State Convention, Benjamin Barnes branch of the YMCA, Black Warrior council of boy scouts, Tuscaloosa Citizens for Action, board of trustees of Selma University, West Alabama Planning and Development Council, West Alabama Mental Health Association, and a host of other service roles.

C. A. Fredd also impacted the moral and spiritual lives of people as a pastor, with a total of 45 years of service, serving his last 34 years as pastor of the Greater 14th Street Baptist Church in Bessemer, building the church from a one room, concrete block building to one of the area’s most dynamic and successful congregations. It has been said that “he who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.” And that is a fitting description of C. A. Fredd. 

Fredd had received numerous awards including Doctor of Letters from Selma University; the Centennial Anniversary Award from Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University in Huntsville and many other citations and awards. In 2006, he was inducted posthumously into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Material from the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama was used in this description as well as from the Tuscaloosa News article, December 10, 1990.


Tuscaloosa News Archive
Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama


Tuscaloosa News


December 10, 1990


Brenda Harris (Description)
Betty Slowe (Description)






Tuscaloosa County (AL)

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