Boro native joins Guido Evangelism Ministry in Metter
A Statesboro native and recent Georgia Southern University graduate, Win Lee took over last week as director of Evangelism and Discipleship of Guido Ministries and joked that he was the youngest employee by almost four decades.
Lee, who is the son of Lisa and John Lee, may be too young to remember the birds chirping or to whistle the tune that preceded the announcer’s voice: “Here’s the Sower, Michael Guido of Metter, Georgia, with a seed for the garden of your heart.”
He may not recall that just after that announcement, a gray-haired, smiling gentleman flanked by flowers and foliage would launch into a 20-second humorous witticism followed by a poignant and profound message of God’s love and mercy - wrapping up a sermon and altar call in less than a minute.
But what Lee lacks in years, he hopes to make up in faith and passion that most certainly would have pleased Guido, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 94. In fact, Guido might have seen a bit of himself in Lee.
As a youngster, Guido was the leader of a local band, playing at dances, nightclubs and, sometimes, burlesque shows. Walking past a revival meeting in his hometown of Lorain, Ohio, Guido impulsively walked in, just to check it out. When the preacher ended the message and invited people to come forward to surrender their lives to Christ, Guido was among them, and from that moment on, everything about his life changed.
Guido attended Bible school and became a traveling evangelist, making his way to small-town Metter. It was there that someone introduced him to Audrey Forehand. Apparently Guido fell for the beautiful woman almost immediately, and though she professed to be an agnostic and had plans of her own when he met her, Guido later said, “She finally accepted the Lord, gave up her medical plans and married me.”
The two became partners in love, in life and in ministry, continuing with their evangelism until a horrific car accident hospitalized Audrey in 1957. While in the hospital, she noted that there were few religious radio programs to enjoy. It was then that the Guidos felt called to begin a radio ministry, choosing Metter as their home base, and “Seeds from the Sower” was born.
In the peaceful garden just a stone’s throw from the heart of a city with a population of less than 4,000, the Guidos grew their ministry to programs on 423 radio stations and 94 television stations, with devotions and newsletters sent monthly to 33,000 addresses that included prisons and other subscribers, and with meditations published in 1,500 newspapers each week. Guido Ministries still distributes the powerful vignettes across the nation and the globe at no cost.
Dr. Larry Guido, Michael’s brother who took over the ministry’s responsibilities shortly before Michael passed away, said, “Some people pray for their ministry, but our ministry is prayer.”
Larry Guido pointed out that the chapel on the property is open 24 hours a day and has been for more than 35 years. Many people leave requests in the chapel, and each one is prayed for.
Though Guido Ministries has quietly graced a small lot in Metter and reached the world for more than 60 years, one part of the ministry is fairly new: Guido Bible College. Housed on the property, the college offers certificates and associate and bachelor’s degrees in biblical studies.
The newest “addition” now, however, is Win Lee, who graduated from Georgia Southern University in May. Just like Michael Guido, Lee didn’t set out for a life of ministry. But before his last year of college, Lee had what he described as a “Saul to Paul” conversion experience, referencing Paul from the New Testament of the Bible.
“I had tried the ways of the world, but nothing was enough until I met Jesus,” Lee said. “Nothing else came close.
“I’d tried a lot of drinking, drugs, partying before I tried Jesus. I didn’t want to admit that I needed help.”
He eventually admitted exactly that, however, and he remembers the exact day.
“Sept. 9, 2015, on the floor of my house. I’d hit bottom,” Lee said. “I felt like I was drowning, and it wasn’t until I asked Jesus to help that he pulled me out.”
Lee said his former desires disappeared.
“The more we try to do it all ourselves, we burden ourselves more,” he said. “But when we finally give it up, it all becomes so simple, like waving a surrender flag and getting victory.”
With his dramatic lifestyle change, Lee now wants to use his experiences to share Jesus with others.
“The things I’ve seen God do, I want to point people back to the cross,” he said. “No matter how broken, lonely, lost - God’s never too far away. We don’t have to be a preacher, priest or philosopher to figure out God loves us.”
Lee said that everything about his life changed that night, and he proved it shortly thereafter by hosting a worship event at the RAC pavilion last spring and another at Hanner Fieldhouse in the fall. Both events were attended by hundreds from the campus and the community.
His message of God’s love and forgiveness sounds a great deal like Michael Guido’s, perhaps without the humorous prologue, unless you count the one he spouts off often about his age difference with the rest of the small staff.
Lee’s desire and mission for his new position is to strengthen and expand the ministry and develop new and innovative programs that will draw people to Christ.
“At Guido, we try to give people hope all over the world from a little campus in Metter,” Lee said. “We truly seek for people to know and have a relationship with Christ.”