Although the congregation at Mint Hill Baptist Church sings the praises of Pastor Lee Proctor, it is he who sings the refrain back to them. After 33 years at the pulpit, Pastor Lee is retiring from a job he loves and feels blessed by. His last sermon will be this coming Christmas morning.
Pastor Lee feels it was an honor to serve “a vibrant group of believers in the presence of the Lord.” As a point of reference, when he started at the church in 1984, Ronald Reagan was embarking on his second term. What changes has the church implemented during that time? Perhaps you have seen the Walk With the Cross that covers the distance between the church and downtown Mint Hill. That was under the guidance of Pastor Lee. If you are a home schooling parent, you are now able to find a meeting place with others to share the teaching of subjects you may not be familiar with.
The church has helped several ethnic church groups become self-supporting by giving them a place to meet until they get on their feet. This includes those speaking Spanish, Russian, and Burmese. The church has become a blessing for young mothers who attend the Moms’ Morning Out Ministry, designed to supply an oasis of support for those in the early child rearing years. The church has also obtained and maintained a house specifically designed for the use of missionaries who are home on leave.
Pastor Lee feels especially encouraged by the church’s alliance with Greater Providence Baptist Church, a predominantly African American church, and with whom they share services four times a year. Through this effort, they have “built Christian relationships across racial lines.” He stated, “There’s just something wonderful about having relationships with a group of people that some of our culture has trouble dealing with because of the color of their skin.”
Congregant Deborah Rhymer said, “Pastor Lee is a people person. He can remember names like no one else I know. After he has met someone briefly, he will be able to recall that person’s name years later.” Deacon Keith Horne added, “Pastor Lee is an authentic leader.
What you see is what you get. He does not pretend to know all the answers, but he knows the One who does. He is humble, sincere, discerning, wise, and loving. We get a glimpse of the love of Christ through the example Pastor Lee sets.” According to Deacon Andy Babson, “Pastor Lee has been a Godly shepherd who always encourages us to spend time alone with God to build a personal relationship.”
What is next for the good shepherd? He plans to invest time with his wife and five grandchildren, to travel and to read. His first specific goal is to memorize the Book of James, which he feels is the most practical book in the Bible. For those of you who remember the challenges of diagramming sentences in English class in years gone by, he plans to do just that with each line. He feels God reveals himself through his Word, and he feels committed to knowing God better.
There will be a retirement party for Pastor Lee on Saturday, December 17 from 3 to 6 pm.