Trip Lee reveals why he quit being a pastor: 'Trying to be faithful looks different in different seasons'

trip lee
Trip Lee speaks on racial injustice and the Church's response at the ERLC's MLK50 Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, April 4, 2018. |

Christian minister and recording artist Trip Lee, whose birth name is William Lee Barefield III, revealed that he recently “stepped away” from pastoring due to an incurable illness.

During a recent interview with Faithfully Magazine, the 33-year-old artist disclosed that his 12-year battle with chronic fatigue syndrome has made it too difficult for him to continue serving as a pastor. 

"When I think of calling, I think of desire, gifting, and opportunity, basically. I had the desire to want to do it. When I would preach and serve and help people, I see the Lord using this and the Lord opened doors for me to do it,” Lee explained.

"I think [my] calling has been affected by my own health and things that seemed good and that I feel called to, they don't work out the way I expect because I have an illness that is the hardest part of every part of my life and things don't always work out the way that I think they supposed to or I felt they would, but nevertheless, I'm just trying to be faithful in the season,” he added.

The husband and father-of-three released his debut album in 2005 and quickly became a household name in Christian hip-hop. He stepped away from music in 2012 to pursue training as a pastor. 

He went on to preach at several Christian conferences and pastor local congregations. He led Cornerstone Church West End in Atlanta for four years, and in 2019 became a young adult pastor at Concord Church in Dallas, Texas. During that time he authored two books, The Good Life and Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story, and also released two albums, Rise and The Waiting Room.

Lee said he's thankful for the opportunities he's had to serve as a pastor, adding: "I love the Church."

"For many years, it was me trying to pastor in this season," he said. "I'm actually not pastoring anymore. I've actually stepped away in the past few months because of my health. It's made it hard, It doesn't seem like the most faithful way for me to serve the Church in the season. ... But yeah, trying to be faithful looks different in different seasons."

Lee now has a new single titled, “You Got It." He told Faithfully Magazine he plans to keep creating music. 

At the Gospel Coalition’s 2019 National Conference, the artist preached on Matthew 8:1-13, a passage in which Jesus heals a leper.

“To read passages like these, if I’m honest, can be difficult for a sick person,” he reflected. “Because it just seems so easy. It seems like ‘just believe and you’re healed.’ … It seems like faith just takes care of it. So what can happen — and I know I’m not the only one who has an illness or who has friends and family who have illnesses — the question can be, ‘Why isn’t God willing to heal me?’ It can be confusing, especially when you have false teaching that’ll say, ‘Look, if you’re sick, it’s a lack of faith. Faith always leads to healing.'” 

Nevertheless, the artist affirmed his faith in Christ and His ability to heal.

“If we want to present our brokenness to Jesus … the question is never about God’s ability,” Lee said. “It’s a question of whether or not it’s in His will. That’s how we should bring our brokenness to a Savior as amazing as ours — with an open hand, saying, ‘I know you can. I’m asking if You will.’"

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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