BY C.S. HOWARD
Rev. and Mrs. Jerome Dupree
Rev. Roland Gobourne has been called as the new pastor at Koinonia Missionary Baptist Church in Sarasota, thus ending nearly 20 years of service of Rev. Dr. Jerome Dupree as its pastor.
Koinonia was organized in June 1981. Pastor Rupert L. Paul was the first pastor for four years. The church is the offspring of a sister church of the same faith and order, Bethlehem Baptist Church. Rev. Dupree’s his rich legacy as pastor, shepherd and administrator began after Rev. Paul’s tenure. His tenure has been characterized not only by his love of God and people, but also by his extraordinary leadership and community service. Rev. Dupree taught as a teacher at Booker Elementary School and became a principal at Amaryllis Park Primary School. In 1964, he became principal at Booker Junior/Senior High School and from 1972 – 1992, he served as Director of Booker Elementary School for High Academic Achievement. Rev. Dupree spent more than 30 years working as one of Sarasota’s finest and most memorable educators and administrators. He also served on the Sarasota City Commissioner and as Mayor of the City of the Sarasota. He is married to Minnie Loman Dupree and they have three children and six grandchildren.
Koinonia will be Rev. Gobourne’s first pastorate. He is a native of Winter Haven, Florida and moved to Sarasota in August of 1970. He received his insurance license and owned and operated Gobourne Insurance Agency, with most of his experience being in the real estate business. Rev. Gobourne graduated from Berean Christian College and Seminary and was called into the ministry as a teenager but did not accept his call until 2010. He was licensed and ordained at TruVine Missionary Baptist Church under former pastor, Rev. Gregory Harris.
“I am elated to be called as pastor of Koinonia,” he said. “My desire is to please God, and it’s always good when someone recognizes who you are in Christ. The foundation has been laid by Rev. Jerome Dupree and I want to build upon that foundation, transforming it into what I think it is capable of becoming, with a group of people who understand what the scripture is all about.” He is married to Geraldine Gobourne.
Rev. Gobourne officially became pastor last Sunday, September 18th. An installation service is being planned as well as a retirement celebration in Rev. Dupree’s honor. Koinonia is located at 409 North Lime Avenue in Sarasota.