Marvin Sapp is promoted to Bishop

By Robert Stitt

Marvin Sapp is best known as the gospel singer whose records have gone multi-platinum. His best known hits include “Never Would Have Made It”, “Thirsty”, and “The Best In Me.”

Sapp made the move to pastor on October 19, 2003, when he and his late-wife, MaLinda, gave the inaugural service of the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2008, they expanded, moving onto a 17-acre campus on Kingdom Square. The church now has upwards of 1,500 members, and, according to the church’s web site, is said to “focus on the whole man, considering their physical and mental health, financial and educational needs and spiritual growth and development.”

Sapp lost his wife to colon cancer and now raises his three children as a single father.

When Sapp was told in 2014 that he was in line to be a Bishop in the Gulf United Fellowship he was happy, but prayerful. He made the following statement, “It will be the year of intentional change, and by the conclusion of this year I will be happier, healthier, healed and whole. For 4 1/2 years my primary focus was to #RepairNPrepare. Many didn’t understand nor accept it, however with the help of the Lord, I’ve done my personal best. Now as I ascended to new levels in the church, every aspect of my life will go higher as well.”

The Gulf United Fellowship (GUF) is a non-denominational fellowship led by Bishop Neil C. Ellis. Ellis started the GUF after he split from Bishop Paul Morton’s Full Gospel Baptist Church. Sapp’s new position as Central Province Bishop gives him “jurisdiction over the central region of the United States.”

Sapp takes his appointment very seriously. “I’m a very strong believer in being connected to visionaries,” he said. He plans to use his new role to “cultivate fellowship and camaraderie among faith leaders.”

After his “crowning,” Sapp made this post on his Facebook page, “I would like to say thank you to everyone who sent congratulatory remarks upon hearing about my elevation to the office of Bishop of the Central Province in Global United Fellowship under Bishop Neil C Ellis. Please keep my family, church family and I before God in prayer now more than ever. Because to whom much is given. Much more is required.”

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