From Politics To Pastoring

Former DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May decided to leave politics behind to focus on being a pastor at Transforming Faith Church.

Former Interim DeKalb CEO transitions into new role

It’s been more than a year since former DeKalb County commissioner and interim CEO Lee May said he would call it quits for politics.

When asked if he misses the spotlight of DeKalb politics, May responded by saying, “not for a second.”

May left office at the end of 2016 after serving as Interim DeKalb CEO for nearly three years. He said leaving politics to pursue a career in ministry was on his mind while in office.

“About three years ago, I really felt that God was calling us not only to pastor, but to start a church and if you do the math, three years ago I was the CEO but I didn’t tell anyone [about the plan],” May said.

In 2013, May became DeKalb’s chief executive when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to replace then CEO Burrell Ellis, who was elected to a four-year term in 2012. Deal suspended Ellis after he was indicted and convicted of perjury and attempted extortion. The conviction has since been overturned.

During the time, May said Deal’s decision to appoint him was divine intervention.

“I knew I wasn’t Deal’s first choice. Heck, I wasn’t his second, third or maybe even fourth choice,” May said, laughing. “I get asked all the time, ‘well do you miss it?’ and honestly, there’s not been one day since I’ve left that office that I’ve regretted not being in that office.”

May said he’s focused on being a full-time pastor and launched Transforming Faith Church in September. The church holds services at 10 a.m. on Sundays at Southwest DeKalb High School in the school’s performing arts auditorium.

So far, May said he enjoys the location and wants to continue to build his ministry.

“I’ve been living in DeKalb County since 1998, I felt this call that this is where I’m supposed to be. This is home for me,” May said.

May said there are some learning experiences from his political career that he plans to transfer to the pulpit. One of the most prominent lessons—transparency.

According to May, Transforming Faith Church will make an annual financial report available to members that outlines how much the church made and where the proceeds go.

“People’s confidence in the church over the years has been really challenged. We want people to know about us and let people know we’re operating with as much transparency as we can and let them know we’re putting it all out on the table,” May said.  

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