May 12 Ron Lee: “How Our Worship Came To Be”

Pastor Lee is a graduate of Mount Union College, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with Honors, in English, and a Master of Divinity Degree, from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

He taught organic chemistry and English literature to gifted senior Arab students, in the country of Lebanon, through Bread for the World, and the German government, prior to ordination as a pastor of the Lutheran Church in America.

His entire career has focused on the renewal of congregations in conflict and decline, dealing with such issues as suicide, misconduct, sudden death, and  substance abuse, on the part of lead pastors, and the effect difficult chapters of ministry on the congregations they had served.

In 1973, he was named Tri-State Man of the Year, by the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce, for his work in developing programs for people in need, especially the elderly through programs like Meals on Wheels, and lead establishment of the Community Action Agency, to coordinate assistance programs for the marginalized.

Ron has served congregations in Illinois, and Ohio, and two of the 35 largest congregations in the ELCA, for a decade each, as lead pastor, both of which had experienced traumatic chapters in ministry. Both congregations doubled in size during his tenure. He was a member of the ELCA Senior Pastors’ Conference for 25 years.

During his decade as national staff for the Lutheran Church in America, he served as liaison with a number of synods in the Midwest, and the South. His specialties were congregational program development, urban congregation renewal, major gifts and stewardship programs for the LCA, and several of the synods and seminaries, raising over $50,000,000 for ministry for the wider church, served as a consultant in worship, music and the arts, and served as a specialist in mission and outreach strategies for the very large congregation. He served as an advocate for welcoming GLBTQ clergy and laity in the life of the church, which lead the church to their ordination into the public ministries of the church in 2007.

He has advanced certification in conflict resolution, is certified in not-for-profit organizational development and fundraising by National Society of Fundraising Executives, has LEAD adult education certification, was a preaching fellow of the Robert Schuller Institute, and, is currently a coach and trainer for leaders and clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, working with bishops and synodical staffs, and senior pastors of the very large congregation, as well as CEO’s of not-for-profit organizations.

Pastor Lee retired in 2005, and has served the Florida Bahamas Synod, as a conflict resolution specialist, leading interim ministries as congregations prepare to call a new lead pastor. Ron has trained many coach leaders throughout the United States, and coaches CEO’s of a variety of not-for-profit organizations. He currently actively volunteers with a variety of community organizations, including IDignity, which has restored legal identity for over 20,000 Central Florida residents.

Ron has been married to Barbara, a retired hospital administrator, and a specialist in hospital certification and patient safety, for 52 years. They have two sons, an educator, and one who owns a marketing firm, both here in Orlando, and a daughter, who is managing director of a national private bank in New York City, that serves those with ultra-wealth. Ron and Barbara have two grandchildren.

They divide their time between Orlando, and their condo at Indialantic Beach, and travel extensively around the world, including Asia, India, the Middle East, and frequent trips to Europe. They have led mission trips to various cities in the USA, the Caribbean, and South America.

Ron is an avid cook, and, as an amateur, often cooks for charity events, recently winning second place in the Rotary’s Chili for Charity Cook-off, competing against 20 top restaurants in Orlando, and Central Florida. Ron and Barbara are members of St. John Lutheran Church, Winter Park, and associate members of First Methodist Church, Orlando, where he serves in a variety of volunteer activities.