Rev. Barney R. Lee, founder of West Seneca church - The Buffalo News
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Rev. Barney R. Lee, founder of West Seneca church

Oct. 17, 1930 – Aug. 4, 2014

The Rev. Barney R. Lee, of Orchard Park, a pastor who was instrumental in founding several churches locally, died Monday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 83.

Born in Lake City, Fla., he earned a bachelor of religious education degree and a doctor of divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist College in Michigan. He served in the Navy and was awarded the Purple Heart.

A Buffalo-area resident since 1966, Mr. Lee was pastor emeritus and founder of Center Road Baptist Church in West Seneca, along with Center Road Day Care and Center Road Christian Academy.

He also hosted a radio program, “The Gospel Truth,” on WYRK.

He was a longtime supporter of the West Seneca Lions Club and was honored in 2002 as a 15-gallon blood donor by the American Red Cross.

He also gave support to missionaries around the world, including his granddaughter and her husband, Monica and Phil Tharp, who currently serve in Ireland.

He served on the West Seneca Narcotics Guidance Council in the 1970s and was a board member of the Buffalo Right to Life Committee.

He also enjoyed growing flowers and vegetables.

Survivors include his wife, the former Lillian Swin; a son, Kenneth; two daughters, Patricia Rader and Jenny Livermore; two brothers, Johnny and Wilbur; a sister, Virdy Sullivan; nine grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. today in Center Road Baptist Church, 412 Center Road, West Seneca.

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