Helping individuals achieve lifelong economic empowerment
dfree principles have definitely impacted our lives. We participated in the 12-step program… and as of now, it has been a little over eight months. Our credit scores have gone up … over 100 points between the both of us. We started out with debt over $18,000. We have paid down $6,000 of that debt, [and] we should be $18,000 less of debt by January 2018.
– Kevin and NaTasha Piert

Eight in ten Americans have debt, and minority communities hold disproportionately more consumer debt than white Americans. In addition, according to an FDIC national survey, almost 54 percent of African American households do not have a bank account or use expensive alternative financial services, including money orders, remittances, payday loans, rent-to-own services, etc. These individuals are at higher risk for financial instability and crippling debt.

Financial literacy is not formalized in schools or communities and can often be the gateway to financial stability and freedom.


In response to the growing financial crisis in the United States, Rev. Dr. Deforest “Buster” Soaries Jr. created a financial empowerment curriculum and training program, dfree®. Embodying “no debt, no deficits, no delinquencies,” dfree has helped thousands break the cycle of debt and financial slavery through education, empowerment, and personal responsibility. With a focus on values-based principles and practical approaches, dfree has launched a cultural movement of financial freedom.

The dfree model takes a multi-faceted approach that involves support, education, and motivational initiatives. A wide range of resources and content includes a workbook, leader certification materials, campaign and events, videos and podcasts, and more. The curriculum focuses on lifestyle change that gives participants the ability to take responsibility for their finances, the willingness to help others do the same, and the capacity to provide for their families and future generations.

The Story

dfree was conceived in 2005 in response to nationwide overspending poised to cripple individuals and the nation. Their impact is astounding. For example, Kevin and NaTasha Piert struggled to get control of their finances. With the help of the dfree program, the Pierts were able to increase their credit scores 100 points and pay off $6,000 — one-third of their debt — in just eight months. The Pierts are only one example of thousands.

Stand Together Foundation Partnership

In 2016, with the help of Stand Together Foundation, dfree quadrupled the number of churches offering their curriculum — reaching over 800 congregations. dfree is increasing their core faith-based curriculum and building content specific to new demographics: young adults, seniors, women, married couples, community organizations, and schools. Pilot programs are launching in community centers and schools that serve low-income populations to help parents and leaders address the root cause of poverty at home, while these organizations address other societal needs.

Somerset, New Jersey
est. 2005
Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.
Read bio
Dr. Soaries is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, and the founder of dfree®. Dr. Soaries is the author of Say Yes to No Debt: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom, and dfree Lifestyle: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom (UMI). Dr. Soaries serves as an independent director at three public corporations. His government service includes Secretary of State of New Jersey (1999-2002) and Chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission (2004-2005). Dr. Soaries is a graduate of Fordham University (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), and United Theological Seminary (DMin).
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