Where Are They Now: Rory Lee
Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Rory R. Lee has been the executive director of Baptist Children’s Village since 2004. He is a Southern Baptist Clergyman and educator. He has served as The Baptist Children’s Village President, Louisiana College President, William Carey College President, and Baptist Child Care Executive. This 1967 PHS graduate received his B.A. in Bible and M. Ed. in Counseling at Mississippi College and his Ed. D. in Higher Education at the University of Mississippi.
Lee grew up in the house of his mother’s childhood that now is the Karon Berry home. His love for the sports of baseball and football flourished at PHS and after graduation he was offered a baseball scholarship at William Carey and a football scholarship at Mississippi College and choosing to play sports and receive his education at Mississippi College was a life changer for him
“Those of us who grew up in Prentiss were blessed with teachers and school administrators who cared about our well-being,” states Lee. “They wanted the best for us and worked to prepare us for our future. I well remember my junior high English teacher Kathleen Parker was tough but made sure we understood grammar and my high school science teacher Cecil Brinson; really, even my first grade teacher Ms. Calcote was important as well as all the coaches I had were a great impact on my life. Many had gone to MS College and that was one of the things that influenced me to attend that school.
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Lee played fullback and was a place kicker for the PHS team. In his senior year the team won 9 games and played in the MS Bowl before the institution of play-offs as now. He received the Sportsmanship Award, was elected as president of the student body and Mr. Prentiss High School.
“Friendships from youth were and still are a very important ingredient in who I am today,” Lee states. “They taught me how to deal with people in the right way.”
Career decisions were also influenced Lee stated, “My parents instilled the importance of good work ethics and doing the right thing. They gave me the tools I needed to make life decisions and then the freedom to make them at a young age. Those who taught me in Sunday School, Church Training and missions classes at Whitesand Baptist Church along with my parents and pastors showed me through their lives a clear testimony of the importance of faith in Christ and this led to a call to ministry in a variety of ways. Being involved as an administrator in Christian colleges and the Baptist Children’s Village as well as a bi-vocational pastor has been very rewarding.”
Lee continues to spread values instilled from JDC upbringing to others as he ministers to children and their families through the Baptist Children’s Village. He has been most gratified that under his watch the Village has expanded to seven campuses across the state and the Dorcas In-Home Support Program launched in early 2012 has already reached 62 children. This program is dedicated to mentoring families and providing the instruction and encouragement they need to make different choices for the welfare of their family.
Lee states growing up in Prentiss gave him a strong foundation for life that consists of faith, family and friends and, “My hope is that those same kind of role models are influencing children in Prentiss today.”
Lee and his wife Janet reside in Clinton, MS. Janet writes for the Clinton Courier and the couple have two children, Lauren and Lacey. Lauren, a nurse practitioner married to Brant Ryan, is mother of the Lee’s only grandchild 2-year-old Owen, and daughter Lacy is manager of the Hallmark Store of Jackson/Clinton. Lee’s mom, Syble is still a part of the JDC community.