State News

The Latest: Lee descendant pastor stands by church problems

Posted 6:36 p.m. Friday

— The Latest on a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee resigning as pastor (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A pastor and descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee says he stands by what he said about his North Carolina church reacting negatively to his comments on MTV supporting racial justice activists.

The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV issued a statement Friday through a publicist reiterating that the congregation at Bethany United Church of Christ decided to put his job to a vote.

Lee had praised the Black Lives Matter movement as he introduced the mother of a woman killed during demonstrations over a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia.

Church Governing Council chair Jerry Clodfelter says the first he heard of Lee's Aug. 27 comments at the MTV Video Music Awards was when Lee emailed his resignation more than a week later.

Lee says he will "not engage in a press war" with his former church.

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5:15 p.m.

Leaders of a North Carolina church where a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was pastor say they don't know any members who had a problem with his comments supporting racial justice activists on an MTV broadcast.

Bethany United Church of Christ Governing Council chair Jerry Clodfelter said the first he heard of the Rev. Robert W. Lee IV's comments Aug. 27 at the MTV Video Music Awards was when Lee emailed his resignation more than a week later.

Lee praised the Black Lives Matter movement as he introduced the mother of a woman killed during demonstrations over a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia.

Clodfelter said in a statement that he refused Lee's resignation at first and asked to talk about any problems with the Winston-Salem church.

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