Rev. George Washington Lee

From Wikipedia:

George Washington Lee (December 25, 1903 – May 7, 1955) was an African American civil rights leader, minister, and entrepreneur. He was a vice president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership and head of the Belzoni, Mississippi branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was assassinated in 1955. . . .

During the 1930s, Lee accepted a call to become a preacher in Belzoni, Mississippi in which he led a baptist congregation. The town was located in the heart of the Delta, where most blacks in the state lived, the majority in extreme poverty. Eager to improve himself at every opportunity, Lee rose to the front ranks of local black business and community leaders. He had pastored four churches and had opened a grocery store; these were just few among Lees’ accomplishments to advance the African American community. In a back room of his house, he and his wife, Rosebud, set up a small printing business. They did a brisk business giving Lee enough resources to enter the battle for civil rights. As a part of the NAACP Lee worked effortlessly in registering his community members to vote.

Lee proved just as determined to succeed in that arena as he had in business and religion. He was the first black in memory to register to vote in Humphreys County, Mississippi (where blacks were a majority of the population). In 1953, Lee and Gus Courts, another black grocer, co-founded the Belzoni branch of the NAACP. When the sheriff refused to accept their poll taxes, they took him to court. Between them, Lee and Courts registered nearly all of the county’s ninety black voters in 1955. Still enraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, however, members of the White Citizens Councils were aggressively purging blacks from the voting rolls through intimidation and economic pressure. While many backed down, Lee and Courts stood firm. . .

Lee’s assailant is unknown.

Numbers 35:33-34 (TLB)
In this way the land will not be polluted, for murder pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for murder except by the execution of the murderer. You shall not defile the land where you are going to live, for I, Jehovah, will be living there.”

O God of glory and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We come to Jesus in humility. How we have defiled the land of Humphreys County. How we have defiled this calendar day. We have sinned.
We come to Jesus saying, “Lord, have mercy.”
We claim the power of the Blood of the Lamb to renew and restore.
We come to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant between God and people.
We apply the Blood of the Lamb over Humphreys County and over this calendar day. Out of deep darkness, let Your light shine in Humphreys County–justice instead of injustice, prosperity instead of poverty, truth instead of lies, love instead of fear. Amen.
Isaiah 9:2

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