The Rev. Dr. Chip Lee
Priest-in-Charge, Church of the Transfiguration
Blue Mountain Lake, NY
If you ask him, the Reverend Doctor Chip Lee will tell you that he began thinking about the priesthood when he was 15 years old, He just found 25 years worth of excuses to put it off.
Raised in Saratoga Springs, where his father was a prominent surgeon, Chip spent his summers at the family camp on Long Lake and attended Sunday services at Transfiguration. In college he majored in communications and worked for nearly 30 years at radio stations in Syracuse, Seattle, and Anchorage.
Nevertheless, there were always two things calling to him - the priesthood and the Adirondacks. When the radio station he was managing in Bend, Oregon changed programming, Chip decided it was time to pursue his original call. He received a degree of Master of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA and was ordained to the Deaconate in 1989. He was called as Vicar to St. James, Kemmerer Wyoming, where he was ordained to the Priesthood in 1990. After three years in Wyoming, Chip was called to the mountains of Western Maryland in 1992 as Rector of St. Matthew’s, Oakland, MD and Vicar of St. John’s, Deer Park, MD, where he currently serves full time. He has served as Priest-in-Charge of Transfiguration, Blue Mountain Lake since 2008. Chip’s vision is to enable all members of his churches to be spiritually transformed, reaching out effectively as Christ’s hands and heart in the world. He believes The Episcopal Church should be a center for learning and spiritual growth – for all ages, and for outreach, a place of hospitality and welcome for all.
Chip received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Development from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 2002. His thesis, “Changing Times, Timing Change; The Rural and Small Town Church: Family Chaplaincy or Missional Community?" calls for changes in the way clergy are trained and called to small, rural churches so that congregations have the best opportunity to grow into missional communities. This thesis has become a seminal work in developing an ethos of long-term care of rural congregations.