Marvin Sapp is a founder and a bishop of Michigan’s Lighthouse Church who I also a talented contemporary gospel singer who started his career as a group member and continues a solo career in the ’90s.
He has won several Best Gospel Artist Awards and has been nominated for the Grammy Award eleven times.
He was born as Marvin Louis Sapp on January 28, 1967, in one of the largest cities in Michigan, US called Grand Rapids, which is located very near the Grand River by which he was named after.
He was as much as they could. He was a little boy of four when he started singing in church and his parents soon realized how he is very talented and enjoyed his performance very much.
His voice became even greater as years passed by so when he became a teenager he started singing in various gospel groups and has changed several ensembles, trying to find a way to get more attention and become more known in the community.
After finishing high school he became a student in a religious institution located in Indianapolis called Aenon Bible College.
This institution’s main task is training ministers. He said that many people judged him for this, but he always knew that what he was doing was the right thing.
He was a student for a while, continuing his singing career in gospel choirs. He says that he was very much in love with everything that had to do with the church and that he felt completely safe in this environment, but many could not believe that and they were triggered by his words.
It was until he was approached by Fred Hammond. He is a very known gospel singer, guitarist and a producer from Texas who invited Marvin to join him and become a new member of „Commissioned“ where Fred also sang.
„Commissioned“ is a name f a very successful gospel group which received several Grammy nominations and has released over a dozen albums throughout the years.
Marvin became a member of the group after the departure of one of their singers Keith Staten. It was in 1990 and Marvin was very satisfied because of his success.
He was a member of „Commissioned“ until 1996. During the time he was a member of the group „Commissioned“ released three albums. He says that he really loved to sing and use the gift he was given to make other people happy.
The first album was named „Number 7“ and was released in 1991 by Verity Records and the album was nominated for the Soul Train Award in the category of the Best Gospel Album.
The second album was named „Matters of the Heart“ which was released in 1994 also by Verity Records and was again produced by Fred Hammond, the record producer who invited Marvin in the group.
„Irreplaceable Love“ is the name f the 3rd and the last album made with Marvin. It was released in the spring of 1996 and was released by Verity Records. It did pretty well and many people wanted to see more of their work, but this was not possible since they were not together anymore.
It was the same year when Marvin decided to focus on his solo career. He was replaced by Marcus Cole in „Commissioned“.
After becoming a solo gospel singer he continued working on his songs and he started recording his solo gospel albums.
After the release of several records, his big breakthrough came in 2007 with an album called „Thirsty“, released by Verity Records. This album was a big success for Marvin because it entered the Top 30 albums on Billboard charts and was certifies gold next year.
This was his 7th album and one of the biggest hits from the album was a song named „Never Would Have Made It“ which he tributed to his late father. The song reached No.1 on many Gospel Charts. „Thirsty“ is the biggest album in Marvin’s career since it was sol din over 700 thousand copies until today.
In 2009 Marvin Sapp was nominated for seven Stellar Awards in the Gospel category and succeeded in getting all seven awards. After the success of „Thirsty“, Marvin focused on his next album which he named „Here I Am“. He said that moving on with his singing career was possibly one of the best decisions out there!
It was released in spring 2010 and it became a huge hit. This album made it to No.2 of the Billboard chart and by that Marvin went into history for being the highest-charting singer of Gospel music all-time.
The album was produced by Aaron Lindsey who also co-wrote several songs, including the lead single „The Best in Me“. This brought Marvin Sapp several Stellar Gospel Music Awards in 2011. In 2017 he has released his 11th album called „Close“.
As for his personal life, he got married to MaLinda Prince in 1992. Malinda was also a pastor at LighthouseFull Life Centre Church of Marvin Sapp. She also worked as a counselor and was her husband’s manager.
She died of colon cancer in the fall of 2010 and left her husband a widower. They had three children together: Marvin, Madison, and Mikaila. Marvin continued raising the kids alone. This was really hard for him and he said that he questioned his decisions much time, but he still tried to do the best thing he could: raise the kids and stay humble.
He is often questioned about his personal life and his dating interests. After rumors of his relationship with Imani Showalter, a reality TV star reached the public he was attacked for it from various church communities.
But he is mostly focused on his children and is striving to be the best father in the world. He managed to overcome the teenage years, struggling as a single parent but succeeded in parenting. Two of his kids are students at Universities and he is very proud of them.
He stated that his father was a big role model for him and that he looked up to him because he was a great dad.
He said that his parents divorced while he was little and that his father didn’t choose to go back to Florida where he is from. Instead, he chose to stay close to his kids and even opened a dry cleaner’s in the same block where his kids lived so he could always be there for them. That helped him and his brother’s while growing up because they had a great father figure.
He was involved in a big controversy after he continued working with R. Kelly, a controversial singer involved in sexual abuse. He decided to release the song although he knew he would be backlashed for it. Marvin says that he is not one to judge but the one to pray for R. Kelly.
He also supported Jay-Z’s album „4:44“ and spoke publically that Christian should continue buying a record of gospel artists even though the same artist lives „questionable“ lives. This rose a huge controversy amongst other pastors but he stood behind his words until the end.
He was also involved in the controversy relating the disappearance of Dr. Teleka Patrick from Kalamazoo in Michigan. She is a young woman who worked in the psychiatry ward in Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo who went missing in December 2013 after finishing her shift.
She is connected to Marvin Sapp with a protection order Marvin took against her several months before her disappearance.
He claimed that she joined his Lighthouse church after what she started sending him messages, e-mails, and tweets in which she claimed that Marvin is her husband.
Marvin revoked her membership in the church, especially after she started sending him pictures of her. This was a very tough time for him since he was faced with challenges.
Marvin Sapp claimed that she was stalking him and he decided to take out a protective order. Police searched for Teleka on Lake Charles near the place her abandoned car was found but didn’t find her until 2013 when her body was spotted by a fisherman.
This was a huge controversy back in the day and people couldn’t believe that such things could happen to a person in a Church.
Full name: Marvin Louis Sapp
Date of birth: January 28, 1967
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Profession: gospel singer, preacher, minister, counselor
Height: 1,80 m
Weight: 90 kg
Net Worth: $5 million