You’ve possibly heard of a triple threat in theater: someone who can act, dance and sing. Or a triple threat on the football field: someone who can pass, kick and run.
Well, meet the Dupree Brothers. They’re triple threats times three. They’re all elected officials, senior pastors, and family men.
Wyandotte County residents likely know middle brother Tim Dupree: he’s an elected district court judge. They may also know Mark: he’s the baby of the bunch, who serves as Wyandotte County’s elected district attorney. However, way up in Wisconsin, resides the third and oldest brother Alvin: an elected member of the Appleton, WI, school board.
Alvin was the first African American elected to the Appleton school board. During his tenure on the board, he played a major role in highlighting an abusive truancy program, which he helped dismantle. Additionally, he was a lead voice in the school district formally recognizing Martin Luther King Day and allowing students the opportunity to participate in the National Day of Service.
Timothy was the first member of his family to graduate from college and law school. After graduating from Washburn Law School, he worked as an assistant county attorney, before founding his own successful private practice law firm. In 2013, defying the odds, he was elected to the District Court where he still serves today.
Mark attended the University of Kansas for undergraduate and law school. Prior to his election to public office, Mark worked as a public defender, an assistant prosecutor and in private practice. His election made history. He remains the only African-American district attorney that Kansas has ever had.
Besides their willingness to serve their community, the brothers all serve the Lord as senior pastors of their churches. If you know their history, you probably won’t find it so surprising that the brothers all joined the ministry; both of their parents – Alvin, Sr. and Linda — were church pastors.
They grew up spending time in church and in the Bible.
“God and family went hand-in-hand with each other, “said Judge Dupree. “We were always taught to be faithful to God, be faithful to family, and to look out for each other.”
The Dupree family was a family of six children, and family really was important. Even though their parents were busy in the church, family time was required.
“We had a lot of fun; did a whole bunch of stuff together, said D.A. Dupree. “Mama and daddy made sure we had a lot of trips together, but ultimately, it was family first.”
Unlike many people who grew up in big families, the Duprees didn’t decide to downsize their personal clans. Timothy has six children, and both Mark and Alvin have four. With such dedication to sizable families, we have to give accolades to their lovely wives: Shanelle (Mark), Tamara (Timothy) and Shantel (Alvin).
Still, most important in their lives is serving God. In 2012 Alvin founded Family First Ministries where he serves in Appleton, as Senior Pastor. He’s also the superintendent of the Family District in the Wisconsin North West Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.
In 2018, Timothy founded Grace Abounds Community Church in Kanas City, KS. He serves as the church’s senior pastor. Mark has pastored Grace Tabernacle in Kansas City, KS, since 2017.
Mark credits much of their success to God and to their strong foundation. Their parents, he said, “gave us something that we can fall back on, whether the education worked, whether the elections were won or not won. Watching our parents give what they didn’t have … showed us in life that wherever God takes us, it is not about us. It is always about how we can affect the lives of those that are around us. Our lives are lived to serve God and to serve this community … and by serving God, God will place you in positions and places to effect positive change for an entire community.”
– Shanelle Dupree and Edward Long contributed to this story