KOINONIA Baptist Church
Our History: June 2, 1984 – June 3, 2018
From its beginning, Koinonia Baptist Church has gone forward united in love, faith, and encouragement. In the spirit of the word “koinonia”, we are a community of dedicated believers in Christ.
On June 2, 1984, Koinonia Baptist Church was organized at the Baptist General School of Religion on Lamar Avenue. From eighteen charter members: Lubertha Brown, *Kay Frances Epps, Louis Epps, Audra Dandridge, *Eliza B. Gammon, Janet Hayes, *Mamie Ruth Hill, *Claude L. Joiner, Sr., *Mattie Render, *Willie Mae Robinson, Bernell Rogers, Philisa Rogers, Dorothy Scott, Christer Williams, Bobbie Worthy, Kenneth Worthy, Sr. and Kevin Worthy, the membership grew to sixty. After Koinonia had to vacate the premises, the faithful worshippers moved across the street into the basement of Abundant Life Temple Church pastored by Elder Walter T. Franklin. After two months in the basement, the church membership increased to almost one hundred members. Then a beautiful Christian fellowship formed between Koinonia and Holly Grove Baptist Church through the efforts of Reverend Joyner and Sister Dorothy Renfroe. When these two churches merged, Koinonia secured its ﬁrst permanent place of worship at 1790 South Wellington and nearly doubled its membership.
Another uniting of the faithful took place on March 17, 1988, following the death of the pastor of Parkway Baptist Church, Reverend James Calvin Anderson. Sister Thelma Malone worked with Reverend Roosevelt T. Joyner and officers of both churches to complete another merger. Koinonia received thirty-seven more believers in Christ as well as two parcels of property. Though plans were made to build on the site located at 1621 South Parkway, the Lord directed Reverend Joyner to the present location at 4340 Millbranch Road.
To raise the forty thousand dollars cash needed to purchase the Millbranch property, Reverend Joyner encouraged the members to make one thousand dollar pledges. On one Sunday, in faith, forty-one thousand dollars’ worth of pledges were made, and eleven thousand dollars was collected. Within another month, more than forty thousand dollars had been donated to pay off the property on Millbranch! Construction on the site began on October 13, 1988 and was completed on May 6, 1989.
Koinonia’s congregation has grown tremendously, and the church has acquired eleven and one-half acres on the south side of the facility. In September of 1992, Koinonia expanded its education building and added a parking lot. Later more property on Millbranch was purchased, and more parking spaces were provided. Other additions include: a campground, pavilion, swimming pool, and walking trail on a twelve-acre site. To celebrate its 25th Anniversary, Koinonia sponsored the 1st Whitehaven Summer Fest on Saturday, June 6, 2009; more than 3,000 members and friends participated in the event on the campground.
During 1998, the Dr. Roosevelt T. Joyner Family Life Center, a 15,000 square foot facility opened; it houses basketball and volleyball courts, a roller skating area, a weight and exercise room, a full service kitchen, fellowship hall, Jacuzzi and office space. From September 1989 to October 2008, the Center served many students ranging from six weeks to twelve years of age and provided jobs for more than two-hundred employees. Notably, from March 1994 until January 2002, the church operated an impressive fleet of vehicles through Koinonia Charter & Tours, Inc. In recognition of his visionary church leadership, personal accomplishments, and community service, the Memphis City Council honored Dr. Joyner with the renaming of Millbranch Street as the Dr. Roosevelt T. Joyner Boulevard on December 1999.
The members of Koinonia Baptist Church have been blessed to be in agreement with one another and united in its purpose to serve God and community. At Koinonia we believe what the scripture says about trusting God.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 * denotes deceased
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Koinonia Baptist Church, Inc. | 4340 Millbranch Road | Memphis, TN 38116 | TEL: 901-396-2944