Name change is still being considered for R.E. Lee Church in Lexington

Church will discuss with Bishop next week

LEXINGTON, Va- – An ongoing discussion for two years is not over for a Lexington Church named after a confederate war icon. In 2015, Vestry members of R.E Lee Church decided to keep its name.

But now they're at a turning point after the deadly Charlottesville protests.

A member of the vestry at Robert E. Lee Church tells me some members and visitors consider the name offensive and they are once again rethinking removing the name.

Those with the church say this debate has heated up again since the 2015 tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

"Some were feeling that the name R.E Lee might be associated with the Confederate symbols such as the flag that was taken down in South Carolina and that the shooter was associated with it," said Doug Cumming,

A committee at the time met for nine months to determine if removing the name would be best and other possible solutions.

"One of those was to restore the historic 19th-century name of the church that Robert E. Lee knew when he was here. And that is Grace Church," said Cumming.
Earlier this month, a Unite the Right rally turned deadly as protestors in Charlottesville were against the removal of a statue of Lee.
Again it was becoming harder to ignore the name of the church, according to Cumming.

"We came up with something that we all agreed on about who we are which was the condemnation of the Neo-Nazis," Cumming said.

Cumming says despite the name, R.E. Lee  is a Christian church willing to accept all people.

A visit from the Bishop Wednesday will help guide the congregation in making right decision on the name.