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Ward 1 Commissioner, Johnnie Lee Roper
Biographical Information
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Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper
Terms Served: 9th Term, 23 years

Contact:  (912) 389-3401, Email

Currently or Previously Serving On:  Member of Gaines Chapel A.M.E. Church, Recreation Board, RDC, Headstart, South Georgia Rural Commission on the Board for the Aging, Son's of Allen, 2nd Vice President of Gaines Chapel AME Church Lay, Chaplain Waycross District Lay

GMA Training / Awards:  2011 GMA Certificate of Distinction, National Council of GMA, GMA District 11 President

Family:  Children, Johnnie L. Roper Jr., Robbie Ingram, and Clara; 7 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren


COMMUNITY - STATE OFFICIALS MOURN DEATH OF CITY COMMISSIONER, JOHNNIE L. ROPER, SR.
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Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper, Sr.

The Mayor and Commissioners of the City of Douglas, along with employees, and citizens, desire to express heartfelt sympathy to the family of the late Johnnie Lee Roper, Sr., who served as a City Commissioner for 23 years. 

On Monday, March 20, 2017, as the news of Roper’s death echoed throughout the community of Douglas, all the way to the Georgia state level, Mayor Tony L. Paulk along with the Douglas commissioners, called for a community vigil in front of City Hall. This gathering was held at 4:30pm in front of City Hall and was a way for leaders, employees, and the community to embrace and to have a moment of reflection on the legacy of City Commissioner, Johnnie Lee Roper, Sr.  Staff members of the Douglas Police and Fire Departments lowered the flag to half-mast as a symbol of respect for the demise of such an influential leader. The flag that was flying prior to the time of Roper’s death will be presented to the family during his Home Going Service.  Flags through the city will remain at half-mast until the conclusion of the funeral services for Roper.

As Mayor Tony L. Paulk faced the crowd in front of City Hall, he stated, “It is very difficult to stand before you as the mayor of Douglas, because Johnnie Lee Roper meant a lot to me and to this community. There is not a house that he did not touch - nor a family he did not try to help.  Mr. Roper epitomizes public service”. Paulk also stated that he remembers Roper saying to him, ‘In spite of personal feelings, you’ve got be willing to help the person who needs help.’  And that is exactly what Mr. Roper did, he offered a hand to anyone in need.” 

Mr. Johnnie Lee Roper, Sr. began serving his first term as a commissioner of the City of Douglas on July 1, 1985.  To the present time, Roper served eight (8) full terms and upon his demise, was serving the second year into his ninth term, giving him a total of twenty-three (23) years, carrying out the functions of a local elected municipal official.  He served a four year term as Mayor Pro Tem from 2004 – 2007.

Roper frequently attended training that was offered by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and Carl Vinson Institute of Government.  From his training with GMA, he received over 234 training hours, earning him the prestigious Certificate of Distinction, which was presented by the Georgia Municipal Association Training Institute on June 27, 2011 during the GMA 78th Annual Convention in Savannah, Georgia.  Locally he served on the Douglas-Coffee County Recreation Board and as former President of the N.A.A.C.P.; regionally he served on the South Georgia Regional Commission (Board of Aging), Concerted Services Headstart; statewide he served on the Democratic Caucus, Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) Transportation, GMA Community Development Policy Committee, and as District 11 President of GMA.

Roper was known and respected in his community for being a strong advocate for all people of the community, for his active role with the Coffee County Senior Citizens Club and Concerted Services Head Start program. Near the end of his life, Roper championed a community initiative known as the Miracle Field, which would be a facility where youth and adults with special needs can have a common area for recreation activities. Along with the City of Douglas, Mr. Roper was instrumental in helping to acquire approximately $70,000 as seed funds for the future construction of this regional facility.  As a man of great faith, Roper was never ashamed to let others know that he had great belief in Jesus Christ.  He was committed to his church, Gaines Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) where he served as a dedicated steward for many years. During his time of membership in the A.M.E. organization, not only was he a steward, but he served on the Sons of Allen Men’s Fellowship of the A.M.E. Church, 2nd Vice President of Gaines Chapel A.M.E. Church Lay, and Chaplain Waycross District Lay.

Mr. Roper has always expressed a deep love for his family and often shared stories of his upbringing and family experiences.  He was a faithful father not only to his children, but to many in the community.  Anyone and everyone who ever sat in meetings with Mr. Roper would probably remember him most for his famous quote, “If you see a turtle on a fence, someone put him there”.

“Commissioner Roper suffered much physical pain in his lifetime, that none of us will ever fully comprehend”, say Terrell Jacobs, City Manager of Douglas.  “Yet he lived in such a manner to touch each and every one of us with his great example of sacrifice and service to all mankind.”

Public Viewing will be held Friday, March 24, 2017 from 12pm to 8pm at Harrell's Funeral Home, 400 E. Cherry Street, Douglas, Georgia.  Funeral Services for City of Douglas Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper, Sr. will be held Saturday, March 25, 2017, 2:30pm at Central Square Complex, 200 S. Madison Ave. Douglas, Georgia. Burial will follow at the Ambrose City Cemetery. Repast will be held at Gaines Chapel A.M.E Dining Hall.  Harrell’s Funeral Home of Douglas, Georgia is in charge of the arrangements.

For more information or to schedule an appointment or interview, please contact the office of Public Information at 912-383-0277 or email


ESG, OPERATIONS DONATES $50,000 FOR MIRACLE FIELD CONSTRUCTION
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Stevie Young (Parks & Recreation Director), Commissioner Kentaiwon Durham, Kevin Davis (ESG Project Manager), John Eddlemun (ESG Operations Sr. Vice President & Partner), Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper, Tony Johnson (ESG Vice President, Community Outreach & Governmental Affairs), and Mayor Tony L. Paulk
At the regularly scheduled Commission meeting on Monday, March 13, 2017, ESG Operations, Inc. presented Douglas Coffee County Parks & Recreation with a donation of $50,000 for the construction of Douglas and Coffee County’s Miracle Field.  The Miracle Field will be constructed at the current site of Davis Wade Baseball Field/Park.  The field will be utilized for special needs children and adults in Douglas and Coffee County.  For more information about the Miracle Field, please contact Stevie Young at 912-384-5978.

GAINES CHAPEL MAKES MIRACLE FIELD DONATION
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Pictured L-R: Stevie Young (Parks & Recreation Director), Mayor Tony Paulk, City Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper, and James Perry (Steward of Gaines AME Church)

Stevie Young, Douglas-Coffee County Parks & Recreation Director, accepted a check in the amount of $330 from Gaines Chapel AME Church, which was presented by City Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper and James Perry, who both serve as Stewards at Gaines Chapel AME Church.  For more information about Douglas’ Miracle Field and League or to make a donation to the Miracle Field, contact Stevie Young, at Douglas-Coffee County Parks and Recreation Department at 912-384-5978.


PREMIUM WATERS PRESENTS $15,625 FOR MIRACLE FIELD
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Commissioner Roper and Laura Bloom (Premium Waters)

On Friday, February 17, Premium Waters officials and the local Premium Waters Employee Committee, presented the City of Douglas and Douglas Coffee County Parks and Recreation Department with two checks totaling $15,625.00.  The first check, in the amount of $15,000, came directly from Premium Waters corporate office, located in Ft. Worth, Texas.  The second check, presented by the “Premium Team” Employee Committee in the amount of $625, was raised quickly raised, by local employees, in one month, by hosting employee cookie sales and other employee donations.  



City of Douglas
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