A Biographical Sketch of our Pastor Emeritus
The Reverend William E. Sanders

​​William E. Sanders is the older of the two children of George and Veala M. Sanders.  He received his early education through the Toledo Public School System. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has traveled throughout the United States and Europe. Rev. Sanders is an ordained clergyman, experienced in all aspects of church and civic affairs.  He has served as Associate Minister at Third Baptist Church of Toledo, Ohio, and as Assistant to the Pastor, both at Calvary Baptist Church of Jamaica, New York and the Bethany Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York.  Additionally, he has served as a Chaplain in the New York Army National Guard and the Ohio Army National Guard. Rev. Sanders received his Associate Degree from the University of Toledo Community & Technical College, his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia (71), and his Masters of Divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary of New York City.  In addition, he holds diplomas from the United States Army Chaplain Center and School, where he completed the Chaplain Officers Basic Course, the Chaplain Officers Advance Course, and the Chaplain Reserve Component General Staff Course.  Continuing education studies were at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. On January 01, 1977, Rev. Sanders began his pastorate at Lee Road Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio.  Under his leadership and the moving of the Holy Spirit, the congregation has grown spiritually as well as numerically.  Bible Study Groups, Youth Choir, Youth Ushers, Youth Day and Graduates’ Recognition Sunday are all programs initiated by him.  The Gospel Choir and the Women Ushers were also organized.  Under his pastorate the original church mortgage was burned and a building fund established.  Rev. Sanders strives to help the church provide meaningful ministry within an urban setting.  His challenge to the church has been to remember both “who you are and Whose you are.  We are sinners saved by grace.  We are God’s sons and daughters. In the Spring of 1995 our building fund program came to fruition as we broke ground for our new Educational Wing and Fellowship Hall.  This addition provides space necessary for the congregation’s expanding ministries.  In December, 2001, the property diagonal to the church was acquired.  This property houses our Family Life Center. Rev. Sanders is believed to be the first Black chaplain to serve in the Ohio Army National Guard.  Prior to his retirement he served as the Brigade Chaplain for the 37th Armor Brigade, at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He is also a former member of the Executive Board of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  He is the former chair of the Department of Ministry of the Cleveland Baptist Association where he has served in numerous capacities..  In April, 2007 Rev. Sanders was inducted into Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College.  Service to God and Humanity continues to be his focus as he challenges the congregation to be about empowering the family of God for this new millennium.   On Sunday, June 30, 2013, Rev. Sanders retired as pastor of Lee Road Baptist Church. He became the first pastor to retire. A few months later, during his first board meeting the new pastor, Rev. James P. Quincy, III, requested that the church board consider a resolution to make Rev. Sanders Pastor Emeritus, without objection the unanimously to support the resolution. On Sunday, October 6, 2013, Pastor Quincy and the congregation conferred upon Rev. Sanders the title Pastor Emeritus. Another first for the Lee Road Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio.