BY ANDREAS BUTLER
At the request of Hope Fellowship Church founder Derek T. Triplett, John Paul McGee is no longer the senior pastor at the church located at 869 Derbyshire Road in Daytona Beach.
McGee came to Hope Fellowship on Aug. 6, 2016. He left on April 3. Triplett was officially back on Easter Sunday, April 4.
End of a journey
McGee, one of the area’s most recognized and talented young ministers, confirmed his departure online via social media with a video posted on his Facebook page on March 29. He directly addressed his congregation.
In the video, McGee said, “For about four and a half years, we’ve journeyed together as pastor and people but our time together has come to an end.”
The move comes as a shock to many in the congregation and community, including McGee himself.
‘Difficult to accept’
“This swift transition was unexpected and unplanned for me and, may I add, difficult to accept “McGee said.” I believe that God has a future planned for Hope Fellowship and for my life in the ministry.”
Still, McGee has nothing but love for the church and city. On March 30, he told the Times, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Hope Fellowship and the people of the Daytona Beach community…My hope is that I left the church better than I got it.”
McGee is still pondering his next move.
“I am still praying on that. I don’t know what the future holds. I can’t answer questions about my ‘next,’” admitted McGee.
However, McGee says he will continue preaching the gospel, mainly on online platforms through his own JPM Global Ministries.
Anyone wishing to keep up with his happenings can text “CONNECT” to 386-222-1070.
Hope Fellowship Full Gospel Baptist Church was established in 1995. It was affiliated with the Full Gospel Baptist Church which appointed Triplett as a bishop in 1998.
The church changed its name to Hope Fellowship Church in 2009. It purchased the current sanctuary and grew rapidly as Triplett worked side-by-side at the church with his wife Tracey, with whom he has two children.
In addition to his duties as a pastor, Triplett broadcast radio and TV shows, wrote and performed gospel music, and authored books. He and the Hope congregation would occasionally venture into local political activism.
Making a move
In July 2015, Triplett announced that “God had called him to move beyond his assignment as Senior Pastor,” thus making way for McGee, a previous minister of music at Hope, to lead the church.
Having previously divorced his first wife Tracey, Triplett married again on Valentine’s Day 2016 to LuAnne Sorrell, a TV anchor for WOFL-FOX 35 Orlando. He has focused on relationship coaching, writing books, and producing podcasts and radio shows in the Orlando area.
Some titles of his content: “What You Say When You Say, “I Do;” “Happier Endings – How to Guard Your Relationship’s Future;” “The Unselfish Lover;” “Can You Weather The Storm;” and “It Was A Mistake.”
On January 2, 2021, he convened a “We Time” couples virtual gathering “praying and planning for your best year as a couple” for $39.99 per couple.
Triplett now lives in Lake Mary with his family. He did not respond to multiple attempts to comment as of the Daytona Times’ Wednesday night deadline.