Robert Greene Lee was born in 1886 on a farm near Fort Mill, South Carolina, to poor but religious parents David and Sarah Lee. Early in life, he felt the call to be a preacher, and in spite of many obstacles he heeded that call. He won many scholastic and oratory honors at the Furman Preparatory School and Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, where he graduated with an A.B. degree in 1913. Shortly thereafter Lee married Bula Gentry. He did postgraduate work at the Chicago Law School, receiving a Ph.D. in international law in 1919. He was ordained at his boyhood church at Fort Mill, South Carolina, in 1910. His first full-time pastorate was at Edgefield, South Carolina. This was followed by pastorates at First Baptist Church, Chester, South Carolina; First Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana; and Citadel Square Baptist Church, Charleston, South Carolina. He was pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee, from 1927 to 1960. Lee preached his famous sermon, "Payday....Some Day, over 1,200 times in the United States and other countries. R. G. Lee died July 20, 1978, at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Jim and Alice Mayo joined Bellevue Baptist Church in 1951, and preserved these materials pertaining to Dr. Lee's pastorate there.
Materials collected by Jim and Alice Mayo include Bellevue Baptist Church bulletins and directories, Sunday School class notes, programs from special services and Dr. Lee's resignation from Bellevue Baptist Church, newspaper articles and biographical material about Lee, and articles and tracts written by Lee.
Jim and Alice Mayo Collection of R.G. Lee Papers. Riley-Hickingbotham Library Special Collections, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas.