Former Concord Church Pastor William Lee Barefield III finally revealed that an incurable illness is the reason he "stepped away" from ministry months ago.
The Christian Post reported that the 33-year-old minister, popularly known as the Christian artist Trip Lee, made the revelation in an interview with Faithfully Magazine on December 8. Lee disclosed that he decided to discontinue being a pastor after much difficulty with his 12-year battle with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The father of three explained that his desire to serve is there but his illness was prohibiting him from achieving what he really intends.
"When I think of calling, I think of desire, gifting, and opportunity, basically. I had the desire to want to do it. When I would preach and serve and help people, I see the Lord using this and the Lord opened doors for me to do it," Lee said.
"I think (my) calling has been affected by my own health and things that seemed good and that I feel called to, they don't work out the way I expect because I have an illness that is the hardest part of every part of my life and things don't always work out the way that I think they supposed to or I felt they would, but nevertheless, I'm just trying to be faithful in the season," he revealed.
Lee, who began with a career as a Christian hip-hop artist, expressed gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve as a pastor, which he loved to do. He shared that leaving the ministry would just be "faithful" of him due to his health prohibiting him to.
"I love the Church. For many years, it was me trying to pastor in this season. I'm actually not pastoring anymore. I've actually stepped away in the past few months because of my health. It's made it hard, It doesn't seem like the most faithful way for me to serve the Church in the season...But yeah, trying to be faithful looks different in different seasons," Lee stressed.
In line with his health, Lee raised that he believes he will be healed by Jesus Christ, who has the final word on this becoming a reality. He stressed that there is no question on God's ability to heal. The question lies on whether God wishes one to be healed.
"If we want to present our brokenness to Jesus...the question is never about God's ability. It's a question of whether or not it's in His will. That's how we should bring our brokenness to a Savior as amazing as ours--with an open hand, saying, 'I know you can. I'm asking if You will.'," Lee underscored.
After leaving the ministry, Lee was able to continue with his first love, which is being a musician. He recently released his new single through Reach Records, "You Got It," via YouTube on October 13. He co-produced "You Got It" with Stellar & Dove Award-Winning musician Mashell Leroy. He has also come out with a new song, "Supernatural", that is similarly co-produced with Leroy. Lee revealed in a Facebook post on Saturday that he is new in "producing" and finds it "amazing" as it makes his music "even more personal and special."
Lee's music career began in 2006 through his debut album, "If They Only Knew." It was his second album, "20/20," released in 2008 that led Lee to break the Billboard Top 200 and Top Ten Christian Albums charts. Lee left the music scene in 2012 to focus on becoming a pastor after "The Good Life" become his second chart-topper song. Lee's first book, "The Good Life," was published in the same year by Moody Publishers.
After training as a pastor in 2012, Lee continued composing songs that focused on his ministry. He was also able to come out with another book, "Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story" in 2015, a year after his fifth album, "Rise," was released. His fifth album is said to be "his highest-charting Billboard 200 entry" at number 16.