Bishop Luther Du Pree Jr.
Upon graduation from High School, Luther moved to the Baltimore area, staying for a few months, and later went to Brooklyn New York. There he worked for Redi-Built Homes. While working there, and calling to talk to his mother one day, he received a message from a friend of the family, a man by the name of “Olin Crick” a construction guru who had extended his business (United Lumber Sales) to the State of Nevada, asking about his whereabouts, and requested for him to give him a call. That call led Luther, the first of his family, to migrate to Reno, Nevada in March 1965, at the age of 19.
While getting ready to go out on a Saturday night, Luther’s body became paralyzed, and he could not move. All he could do was think and in his mind he said “Lord, if you get me out of this I will serve you.” No sooner had he thought those words he felt a push in his back and he was able to move again. Luther got down on his knees that day and gave his life to the Lord. The following Sunday he attended the only church he knew in the area (AME church in Reno) pastor by Reverend Howard Gloyd. Luther continually sought the Lord and attended services at the AME church faithfully until he spoke with his mailman who told him about the two holiness churches in the area. The first one he attended Pentecostal church on Sierra Street pastor by Elder Elmer Brown, where Reverend Carlton Wright was speaking. Luther did not feel that was the right church for him, so the next Sunday he attended the other church, Holy Temple Church pastor by Reverend E.N. Webb.
Luther continued to attend Holy Temple church, and upon attending a revival conducted by Missionary Rochelle Wynn, on a Wednesday night, Luther received the Holy Ghost. Luther continued to seek the empowerment of the Holy Ghost down at the altar at every service until Elder Griffin told him to get up off the altar and help others tarry.
As a child, Luther knew he was called to ministry from dreams he would have, and from Pastor Boyd telling his mother “that was her preacher there”, one among others. After surrendering his life to the Lord, Luther heard the voice of God calling him to preach, but did not accept the call, until driving a load of lumber down a winding road and losing control of the vehicle. He told God “if you get me out of this I will tell the people you called me to preach’. That night at church when asked if anyone had anything else to say, Luther nudged Elder W.J. Wynn and told him he had something to say. Upon being acknowledged, Luther stood and said God had called him to the ministry – to preach. Everyone was excited and praised God for the calling upon his life.
In August 1970, Bishop Webb and the Northern Nevada Superintendent Dillion, asked all the elders, which included Elder Luther DuPree, to travel to Hawthorne Nevada to meet with them at Faith Temple Church of God in Christ. Unbeknown to them, they were being considered as a pastor for the church. Upon meeting with the Bishop, others and the one family that kept the church opened, asking questions, etc., and before even getting on the road to go back to Reno, the Bishop and Superintendent approached Elder DuPree and told him the Lord had told them to make him the pastor of the church. In accepting the call to preach, Elder DuPree had never thought about pastoring, but not being one who would argue with what the Lord had said, he accepted. Thus began the ministry of leading a congregation, attending to a flock.
The church name was later changed from Faith Temple to Trinity Temple. Elder DuPree served faithfully traveling to Hawthorne from Reno sometimes every day of the week for revivals for seven (7) years. There were times when the only means of income was from his employment, IBM, and Deacon Clary would give him his credit card to help buy gas. The standing church was made out of pasteboard and there were times when having services the wind would blow and for the safety of the congregation, services would be dismissed. There were holes in the roof, where you could see outside and doing one revival meeting, the rain was coming in the church, the saints prayed and told God it was the only church they had, and from that day forward, even though the church roof was never repaired, it rained and snowed many times but never in the church. The membership grew with young people giving their lives to the Lord, and the parents eventually coming. Elder DuPree was also blessed to have two of his brothers (Norris & Kenneth) and their families joined him in the ministry in Hawthorne. They would take turns driving, and worn many cars out on the roads back and forth.
In traveling the dangerous roads and oft times being tired, one time Pastor DuPree fell asleep at the wheel only to be awaken by the Lord, before having to make a quick turn in the road, and saw a hand on the hood of the car guiding them. During his ministry in Hawthorne, he traveled through snow storms, wind storms, rain and icy roads. One time in traveling at night, an intoxicated man parked his car in the middle of the highway with no lights on. Pastor DuPree in seeing it could not pass on the left because of oncoming traffic so went to the right, and accidentally hit the man who was on that side of the road. A nurse on the scene pronounced the man dead and had covered him up. Pastor DuPree and those traveling with him walked up the road praying, and Pastor DuPree told God that he had called him to save lives, not lose them. Walking back toward the man, it was announced that he had started back breathing.
Pastor DuPree trained and served in the local church and the State of Nevada Churches of God in Christ under the leadership of the late Bishop E.N. Webb. Upon the death of Bishop E.N. Webb, Reverend DuPree continued to serve the State of Nevada under the leadership of Bishop Carruth Hall. In his service tenure, he has served as District Superintendent, Administrative Assistant to the State Bishop, Elder’s Council Board member, Ordination Board member, and Executive Board member of the Churches of God in Christ. As District Superintendent, he had set up several churches in the Northern Nevada area, and filled in as interim pastor on numerous occasions.
After serving as the Northern Nevada Superintendent, and the First Administrator Assistant to Bishop C. Hall, and after careful thought and consideration of the travel time, finances, the hardship, and the spiritual growth and empowerment of Northern Nevada, the Northern Nevada COGIC pastors, (Pastor Live Tau, Pastor Dana Jones, Pastor Gregory Brown, Pastor Norris DuPree, Pastor Maurice Washington and Pastor Anthony Corley), got together and decided to pursue a Jurisdiction in the North. Pastor DuPree felt that it would be unfair to pursue the Jurisdiction without conferring with or acknowledging the Nevada Jurisdiction Prelate, so at the November 1999 State set-up meeting, Pastor DuPree informed Bishop C. Hall of the pastors’ intention of forming a Jurisdiction, at which time Bishop Hall agreed that one was needed in the north. Bishop and Pastor DuPree shook hands and Bishop promised to write a letter to the General Board endorsing and acknowledging the need for a Jurisdiction in the North. After speaking to Bishop C. Hall, and getting his approval, the pastors talked to the membership, and Northern Nevada First Jurisdictional Fellowship formulated.
Because of that perseverance, in April 2009, after 10 years of faithfully serving, faithfully waiting, the Jurisdiction was granted to the Northern Nevada Churches of God in Christ, and Pastor DuPree was appointed Bishop Designee by the Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, and the General Board with the agreement and endorsement of Nevada Prelate Bishop Hall. The appointment makes Pastor DuPree the first Black African American to be appointed Bishop in the Churches of God in Christ in Northern Nevada. He presently oversees five church’s under the Northern Nevada Jurisdiction: Center of Hope Christian Fellowship COGIC of Sparks Nevada, Grace Tabernacle COGIC of Sparks Nevada, Greater New Refuge COGIC of Fallon Nevada, Trinity Temple COGIC of Hawthorne Nevada and Rehoboth Holy Temple COGIC of Reno Nevada.
Pastor DuPree is a Holy Ghost filled, powerhouse preacher who is unafraid of preaching the unadulterated word of God to all. He has a heart and a hunger to see miracles performed as souls are saved, back sliders reclaimed, habitual addicts convicted and converted, as the power of God moves among His people.