Officials at the historic St. John Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, remained tight-lipped Wednesday about the recent arrest of their pastor for possession of controlled substances and the use of drug-related objects during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 80.
When asked if their 50-year-old leader, George Perry Lee III, would remain in the pulpit of the largest African American congregation in historic Savannah, in the wake of the arrest, a church spokesperson who did not give her name told The Christian Post that they couldn’t answer that question.
Lee, who has been the pastor of St. John Baptist Church since Dec. 19, 2005, was arrested by Tybee Island Police around 4 a.m. Saturday, WJCL reported. While he bonded out of jail the same day, WSAV noted that the pastor was charged with purchasing, pressing, manufacturing or distributing marijuana as well as possession of illegal mushrooms, MDMA and THC oil.
When contacted for further details Wednesday, Tybee Island Police said the case was still under investigation. Jail records show that in addition to his drug related charges, Pastor Lee was charged with speeding and failure to maintain his lane.
Lee was previously arrested by Savannah Police in Chatham County in March 2018 for drunk driving. He was sentenced to probation in 2021 after he pleaded guilty to the DUI charge. In addition to his recent arrest, Lee also has an open case in Chatham County for driving on a suspended license and operating an unregistered vehicle.
According to his bio on the church’s website, after taking over the pulpit in December 2005, Lee flourished in the role and 1,900 souls surrendered to Christ.
“The love for this young man of God quickly grew as he affectionately became ‘Pastor Lee.’ As a foundation for the vision of his ministry at St. John, Pastor Lee uses the words of Paul as written in 1 Corinthians 2:9, ‘But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared to them that love Him,’” the bio noted. “During Pastor Lee's short tenure at St. John, over 1,900 souls have surrendered their lives to Christ. The weekly Bible study, known to Savannah and surrounding counties as ‘The Mighty Fortress Hour’ has grown in attendance from less than 50 persons to well over 300.”
Lee, who also released a gospel album titled “I Have No Doubt” in 2011, was also praised by his church for spreading the Gospel through his music.
“As Pastor Lee continues to chart the course for St. John Baptist Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, St. John has been blessed by Pastor Lee's ministry,” the church said. “His vision and his words of wisdom are ever present reminders of the blessings of our Father — ‘All that I am is because of Thee; all that I am NOT because of me.’”