Dr. Christopher “Lee” Canipe was born in Winston-Salem, NC and attended Davidson College where he graduated with honors in History. After earning master’s degrees in History at the University of Virginia and Counseling at Wake Forest University, he felt a calling to the ministry. He pursued his theological education at Duke University where he graduated with his Master of Divinity, summa cum laude. At Duke, he earned the Interpretation Award for Excellence in Biblical and Theological Study.
While working on his degree he also served as youth minister at Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham. After graduation, he worked as a pastoral assistant at First Baptist Church of Savannah, GA. From there he spent a year as a Global Service Corps missionary to Russia. Upon his return to the States, Lee continued his theological education at Baylor University where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy from the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.
Most recently, Lee was awarded an Oxford Foundation Fellowship for independent postdoctoral study at Oxford University in Great Britain. Upon graduation, Lee and his wife Hilary, a primary care physician, were called to serve Murfreesboro Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, NC as senior pastor. Here he has faithfully served for the last 12 years. During his time in Murfreesboro, Lee has led his congregation in a strategic reflection process, two capital campaigns, greater community involvement through service partnerships and other events, and the development of an international missions relationship with a French-Canadian Baptist Church in Quebec.
Lee has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Chowan University for the last 10 years. He has authored two books, “Loyal Dissenters; Reading Scripture and Talking Freedom with the Early English Baptists,” and “A Baptist Democracy: Separating God and Caesar in the Land of the Free,” as well as numerous journal articles and book reviews. He has also written Sunday School and Bible Study materials for Smyth & Helwys.
Lee has been an important part of the Baptist community and his local community. He has strong ties to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as he served on its Coordinating Council for several years. Lee has also served on the board of Ridgecroft School (Ahoskie, NC), and the Board of Ministers at Chowan University and Campbell University. Lee has been an active volunteer in his community through his involvement with Rotary International as well as coaching numerous athletic teams. His contributions to the community have been recognized through several different awards: Rotarian of the Year, the Chowan Athletics Service Award, and the Sammy Doughtie Community Service Award (given by the Chamber of Commerce).
Lee and Hilary have three children: Helen (14), Watson (12), and Peter (9). His interests include running, travel, reading (especially American history), and college basketball.
Bachelor of Arts, History (Honors) – Davidson College
Master of Arts, History – University of Virginia
Master of Arts in Education, (Counseling) – Wake Forest University
Master of Divinity (summa cum laude) – Duke University
Doctor of Philosophy – Baylor University