Make your home page

Lee descendant resigns as church pastor over MTV statement

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is stepping down as pastor of a North Carolina church after negative reactions to his comments supporting racial justice activists on an MTV broadcast.

The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV issued a statement that he’s resigning from Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem. He’s a distant nephew of the Confederate general.

He said that some members of the church were uncomfortable with his remarks praising the Black Lives Matter movement during the Aug. 27 MTV Video Music Awards. He was introducing the mother of a woman killed during demonstrations over a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia.

Lee said he resigned after the church decided to vote on his tenure.

Church leaders didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday.