Robert Green Lee was born in a three room log cabin in South Carolina on November 11th, 1886. He was the fifth child of David and Sarah Lee and a distant relative of General Robert E. Lee. While having such a famous forefather these Lees were a poor family, barely making it as sharecroppers. When Robert was born the black midwife (a former slave) who attended Lee's birth cried out, "Praise God! Glory be! The good Lord has done sent a preacher to this here house."
Indeed a preacher had been born. Lee was born into a world of great preachers. P.H. Mell was president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He would die two years later. J.P. Boyce, another of the great Southern Baptist founders was also only two years from going home to be with His Lord. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Charles Spurgeon was nearing the end of his monumental ministry in London.
Much changed during the nearly 100 years of Lee's life. "In the year of R.G. Lee's birth, most of the 488 messengers who attended the Southern Baptist Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, that year arrived by train or horse and buggy." During R.G. Lee's life he went from traveling by horse and buggy, to traveling by car to traveling by jet airplane. By the time of his death Southern Baptist Conventions had many thousands of messengers and Lee had preached to many of them.
He served an unprecedented four terms as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and then an unprecedented three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Lee preached another 18 years after his retirement. He traveled 100,000 miles a year preaching in small and large churches, and places like the Moody Bible Institute.