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Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor George Lee, III Charged with Various Drug Crimes

pastor george lee iii

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

George Lee, III, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia has been charged with purchasing, pressing, manufacturing, or distributing marijuana as well as possession of illegal mushrooms, MDMA, and THC oil. Lee was previously convicted of drunk driving.

The Christian Post reports:

Officials at the historic St. John Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, remained tight-lipped Wednesday about the recent arrest of their pastor for possession of controlled substances and the use of drug-related objects during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 80.

When asked if their 50-year-old leader, George Perry Lee III, would remain in the pulpit of the largest African American congregation in historic Savannah, in the wake of the arrest, a church spokesperson who did not give her name told The Christian Post that they couldn’t answer that question.

Lee, who has been the pastor of St. John Baptist Church since Dec. 19, 2005, was arrested by Tybee Island Police around 4 a.m. Saturday, WJCL reported. While he bonded out of jail the same day, WSAV noted that the pastor was charged with purchasing, pressing, manufacturing or distributing marijuana as well as possession of illegal mushrooms, MDMA and THC oil.

When contacted for further details Wednesday, Tybee Island Police said the case was still under investigation. Jail records show that in addition to his drug related charges, Pastor Lee was charged with speeding and failure to maintain his lane.

Lee was previously arrested by Savannah Police in Chatham County in March 2018 for drunk driving. He was sentenced to probation in 2021 after he pleaded guilty to the DUI charge. In addition to his recent arrest, Lee also has an open case in Chatham County for driving on a suspended license and operating an unregistered vehicle.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    TheDutchGuy

    He’s a Pastor so I’d declare the contraband to be religious ceremonial paraphernalia. Constitutionally protected mushrooms and incense weeds. He stalled his DUI three years between arrest, plea, and sentencing so he tried and failed to wiggle out of it. Apparently pot and shrooms are still taboo in GA.

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Bruce Gerencser