Local religious leaders remember Youngstown pastor Rev. Morris Lee

Local News

In addition to being a pastor, Lee was a community leader and a civil rights activist

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Local religious leaders are remembering the life of longtime Youngstown pastor Rev. Morris Lee, who passed away at the age of 84.

“He’s certainly going to be missed by, not just his church, but every church and every pastor,” said Rev. Kenneth Simon.

In addition to being a pastor, Lee was a community leader and a civil rights activist.

“He wasn’t just a preacher who stood behind the pulpit and preached. He was a man who was active in making sure that the rights of all people were respected,” Simon said.

Simon said his father and Lee went to Alabama and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“He would be one voice of Dr. King’s word,” Simon said.

He described Lee in a number of words, including humble, father, leader and historian.

“He could tell you the history of the city. He could tell you the history of every church. He could tell you names of people, what year. He could tell you the streets. He was a phenomenal historian,” Simon said.

When Lee spoke, Simon said people listened.

“If it was me talking, people would say, ‘Would you please sit down,’ but since it was him, you just had to listen and give him as much time as he took and Morris Lee has earned the right to take as much time as he wants to say whatever he wants because he always did it with excellence,” he said.

Now that Lee is gone, Simon said it feels like everyone has a little part of them missing.

Simon did not know what Lee died of or where his funeral will be held, but he has offered his church, the New Bethel Baptist Church, as a place where it can be held.

Lee served as pastor at Third Baptist Church on Park Hill for 59 years.

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