By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

Butch Lee, 64, pastor of Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Madison, has ministered to the community for the past 30 years. Lee has balanced his commitment and passion for local and foreign ministry seamlessly as he has dedicated his life to serving others. “I like people. I enjoy encouraging people and talking to people in times of trouble and just being a friend to them,” said Lee. “God is good all the time, but especially today…we can prepare for tomorrow, but we cannot predict tomorrow…This is the day we have, and we will make the most of it.” Lee has done mission work in over 20 countries, with a special focus on Haiti and Peru.

Lee helped construct 13 churches and six school in Haiti and worked in conjunction with orphanages in various countries. He has served as the president of Grace Mission to Haiti. He has also served as a poll worker during elections, a volunteer chaplain for Morgan Memorial Hospital and has also been a member of the local American Legion. He also serves as president of Neighborhood Gospel Missions (NGM), a missions organization that runs children’s camps during the summer. He is currently heading up a fundraising and building project in Oglethorpe County, where NGM will have its own camp facility.

“He has definitely served tirelessly and ministered to a lot of people in this community. Even people who may not be in his congregation now, have been at one time. People have always been touched by the way he has served,” said Bethany Lee Carter, one of of Lee’s three children. Lee, and his wife of 43 years, Cindy Lee, the media specialist at Morgan County Elementary School moved to Morgan County in 1984. Lee, originally from Jonesboro, said his leap into ministry was rather sudden.

He felt the call when we was 23-years-old and was ordained by time he was 24-years-old. “I was planning to take over the family business, in construction, but the Lord just spoke to my heart and dealt with me,” recalled Lee. “I never looked back.” Lee attended the University of Georgia and then, Emmanuel Baptist College and Seminary in Peachtree City o become a minister.

Butch and Cindy Lee, have three grown children, Bethany Lee Carter, a school counselor at Morgan County Elementary School, Capricia Williams, a teacher in Clarke County, and Athen Lee, a teacher in Oglethorpe County, and eight grandchildren. “We’ve been very fortunate,” said Lee. Carter is proud of her father, for not only the work he does, but for who he is as a person. “He is very real. He is not about himself, he is about others.

He has always put his family first but he has taught all of us how to serve and how to be involved in how to be thinking about others,” said Carter. “ “Who you see on Sunday mornings in the pulpit is who I see Monday through Saturday. He is who he is all the time, just a phenomenal man.” Lee took over as as pastor of one of the oldest churches in Madison 30 years ago. Sandy Creek Baptist was founded in 1808. Lee is the 54th pastor of the church, with the longest tenor.

Lee is hoping that Morgan County experiences continual growth and turns out responsible, moral citizens of the world. “Churches play a vital role in the moral attitude of a region,” said Lee. “We see this area as a growing area and we want to grow with it.

We want to not only be a help and encouragement to that growth, but a vital part of that growth. And our church has been doing that for the last two centuries…we’ve always been a part of it and we want to continue to be a part of it.” “We are very interested with our children and young people, they are not only the hope for the future, they are our future,” said Lee.