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They say time heals all wounds, but the truth is that there are no guarantees. When you’ve lost someone you love there’s no rainbow that suddenly appears over the horizon. The pain that engulfs you is like a roaring river — if you step too close to the edge it will sweep you off your feet and pull you downstream.

However, for 11-time Grammy Award nominee and celebrated pastor Marvin Sapp, being dragged to the depths of his grief and drowning was never an option. Following the loss of his beloved wife of 20 years to cancer, preceded by the untimely deaths of his father and two best friends, Sapp still had three children to raise, an influential church to run and a thriving musical career to maintain. Despite enormous sadness, he knew God would not want him to forsake his path. For his kids, and for his legacy, he pressed on because he knew that is what God wanted him to do. He also knew that is what his late wife, MaLinda, whose motto in all things was “keep it moving,” would want him to do. So, he poured his swirling emotions into his family, his church and his craft and has continually blessed the Gospel music community with his unique gift.

Marvin Sapp is one of the most beloved voices in this genre. Though he may be best known for his cross-over hit “Never Would Have Made It”, those who really love Gospel music know him for “Not the Time Nor the Place”, “You are God Alone”, “I Believe” and other timeless gems. This is not to mention “King of Glory”, “Running Back to You” and other seminal hits that he recorded with Commissioned. The self-proclaimed “preacher who just happens to sing” has a special gift for ministering through song and, even after four decades of singing, he remains a vital force in music.

Sapp has enjoyed a decorated 30-year music career, receiving 24 Stellar Awards, 2 Soul Train Music Awards, 2 BET Awards, 3 Dove Awards and 8 BMI Songwriter’s Awards for sales, along with many other national, regional and local accolades. He is a multiple Grammy and Billboard Award nominee and, in 2015, was named Billboard’s Top Male Gospel Artist. His most ubiquitous song, “Never Would Have Made It,” remains one of the longest running #1 radio hits of ANY genre, and was named Song of the Year by the Associated Press. He has one of the highest ever Billboard Top-200 charting Gospel albums with his 2010 release “Here I Am”. His most recent project, Close, is Marvin Sapp’s 11th album and scored his fifth consecutive #1 debut.

Marvin Sapp is an ordained Bishop within the Global United Fellowship where he oversees more than 100 churches within the Central Deanery. Additionally, he remains senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center and is a faithful servant and leader of his Grand Rapids, Michigan-based congregation. His biggest accomplishment, though, is being a single dad to Marvin, Jr., MiKaila and Madisson, and raising them to be happy, healthy, wellrounded, productive and educated young adults.

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