Award-winning gospel singer Marvin Sapp cried just before he walked on stage at Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro for his first major recording project since his wife died a year ago of colon cancer.
MaLinda Sapp, his wife of 15 years, had been his administrative pastor at the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was, he said, his life partner and mother to their three children.
“I had a moment. I shed some tears. I thought about the last recording. How my wife was there. How she made things happen,” the 43-year-old Sapp said in an interview. “It really hit me that she is not here to get some things done.”
Earlier, sporting a silver vested suit and plenty of charm, the Grammy nominated tenor captivated several thousand people at Evangel Cathedral Saturday night as part of a live recording that will be released in the coming months by Verity Records.
The album does not have a title, as yet, but one of the songs he sang Saturday was entitled, “There is no quit in me.”
Sapp arrived on the gospel stage in 1991 when he performed with Fred Hammond and the group Commissioned. In 1996, he left the group to launch a successful solo career that has included the chart-topping hits “Never Would Have Made It” and “Here I AM.”
Sapp acknowledged that his wife’s illness tested his worth.
“I want people to understand that tragedy and trial does not necessarily mean that you are a victim,” Sapp said. “I want to show people through my life that you can face hellish situations and still walk in victory. But it is a process, it just doesn’t happen over night.”
Sapp said even though his wife has passed away, he reflects on one of her favorite motto’s for inspiration. “She would say, ‘Keep it moving.’ That was her slogan in life, you got to keep it moving. My kids, my church, my self--we have tried to forge ahead. To me ,that is the best way to honor her is keep on going.”
“When my wife got sick, I didn’t understand why God was doing what he was doing,” Sapp said. “We would record things to build up her faith, but in the process it was building mine for what was going to happen ahead.”
Sapp said that he held onto the belief that his wife would get better until the very end. “Even up until the day she took her last breath I believed that God would heal her. But recognizing the sovereignty of God, you have to accept his will even though it my not be yours.”
“My faith is at a level now that it has never been before,” said Sapp, adding that he also has gotten strength from Proverbs 3:5 in the Old Testament: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your understanding.”