The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Lee, pictured with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, delivers the invocation at Thursday’s Independence Day celebration at the White House.

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At the invitation of President Joe Biden, the Rev. Dr. Robert W. “Rob” Lee delivered the invocation at the White House on Thursday during the Independence Day celebration.

The invocation was delivered at the conclusion of a picnic on the grounds of the White House geared toward military families and prior the fireworks show that attracted thousands of guests to the South Lawn.

Lee’s prayer, which was broadcast nationally, prayed that the nation might, “never forget those who have sacrificed to protect and defend the freedoms we enjoy.” His prayer went on to say, “You have loved us when we have failed to love each other and ourselves. We trust you will continue to hold us in the story of this nation that is yet unwritten so that we might always live by your example.”

A Statesville native and resident, Lee has been active in political and social movements throughout his career in the ministry. In 2021 he participated in the Inaugural Prayer Service for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. He has provided devotional materials for the President and the First Lady.

Lee is the author of five books and preaches in churches across the country. When not preaching or lecturing, he attends Broad Street United Methodist Church in Statesville with his family.

Lee, who was invited to the White House for the July 4th event a few weeks ago, said he was honored to receive the invite.

“I’m proud of this country and its history, and I hope this prayer was a chance to remind the people of this nation of God’s love for them,” he said. “I’m grateful to President and Dr. Biden for their generous invitation, and I always hope I make Statesville proud with this work on a national stage.”

Lee also spent time in conversation with the President and First Lady prior to the remarks and invocation.

The White House has hosted an Independence Day celebration since our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, opened the home to citizens, diplomats, army officials, and Cherokee chiefs.

Lee saw the event as an opportunity to both remember the cherished national history and look forward to a future with hope.

“You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t noticed the division in this country, but I hope we can all come together in the spirit of the best ideals of this nation and work together for the common good,” he said.

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