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Bishop Marvin L. Sapp Announces Retirement from Lighthouse Full Life Center in Grand Rapids

Bishop Marvin L. Sapp today announced to his congregation that he is retiring as Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center. He has accepted the personal request of Bishop Richard E. Young to assume the role of Senior Pastor of Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas. Bishop Young is a close family friend who is like an Uncle to Marvin Sapp.

Bishop Young has been the pastor of Chosen Vessel since 1985. In April he announced that he will retire to Emeritus status effective September 14th, 2019.

“When I began considering retirement, it was the Spirit of the Lord that prompted me to call Marvin,” says Bishop Young. “Not only is there a relationship rooted in mutual respect, but Marvin has proven himself to be extremely loyal. This ministry is one that I have spent the majority of my life building, and I want it to go to the next level. I know that Bishop Marvin Sapp will be committed and will lead Chosen Vessel to new levels, and that is why I asked him to be my successor.”

Marvin Sapp’s last day as Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center will be the first Sunday in September. He will remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Lighthouse Full Life Center and will continue to provide spiritual oversight. Sapp will preach his first sermon as Senior Pastor of Chosen Vessel on September 15th. The date of Bishop Sapp’s installation will be announced in the near future.

Marvin Sapp is Metropolitan Bishop within the Global United Fellowship, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Neil C. Ellis, where he oversees more than 100 churches in 19 states. In addition to being a gifted preacher, he is an author, radio show host and internationally renowned singer who has enjoyed a decorated 30 year music career, receiving 24 Stellar Awards2 Soul Train Music Awards2 BET Awards2 Dove Awards and 8 BMI Songwriter’s Awards for sales along with many other accolades and honors from national, regional and local institutions.  He is a multiple Grammy and Billboard Award nominee and, in 2015, was named Billboard’s Top Male Gospel Artist.

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Below is the Official Statement from Bishop Marvin Sapp:

When MaLinda and I started Lighthouse Full Life Center in 2003, it was with a clear focus on building a strong church that would be a wellspring of spiritual teaching and growth in Grand Rapids – a church firmly rooted in solid bible teaching and firmly focused on serving the Grand Rapids community.

Sixteen years later, I am proud of the presence that Lighthouse has in Grand Rapids. We have been consistent in our commitment to excellence in ministry and we have been consistent in our service to the community. We also have been good stewards of our resources: the church is debt free, which facilitates the ability to focus on the most important aspect of its existence – the needs of the people.

As most people know, the personal, professional and spiritual transitions in my life over the past eight years have been tremendous. Through the divine direction of God, I have kept a focus on my family, Lighthouse Full Life Center and my work in the City of Grand Rapids while managing life-altering change. I have been content in doing so, as the Word tells me to be content in all things.

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However, in August of 2017, the Lord told me that 2018 was going to be the year for me to begin again. In 2018, I received multiple prophecies about transitioning from Grand Rapids. I initially rejected them. However, reminded of what the Lord told me, I began to be more contemplative and prayerful about the many opportunities that I was presented with to possibly assume church leadership roles in other cities.

This year, an opportunity was presented that I know represents the fulfillment of the prophecies I had received. As such, I am announcing my retirement as Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center. The first Sunday in September will be my final Sunday at Lighthouse. I will remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Lighthouse, and will provide spiritual oversight of the church.

On September 15th, I will become the Senior Pastor of Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Forth Worth, Texas.

I received the call directly from Bishop Richard Young that he planned to retire this year and wanted me to take over his church. After considerable prayer and counsel, it became clear to me that this request was predestined. Bishop Young was like a brother to my spiritual father, the late Bishop William C. Abney. In fact, Bethel Pentecostal Church, which Bishop Abney led for more than 50 years, was founded by Bishop Young’s father. This is why I cherish the opportunity to continue the legacy of the great men of God who have impacted my life. It is something that I know in my heart is meant for me to do.

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I will announce my successor at Lighthouse Full Life Center soon. The beauty of God’s timing with this transition is that Lighthouse is not going to miss a beat. The ministry birthed by MaLinda and I is firmly established, the pastoral team is comprised of gifted spiritual leaders who will function with continued excellence and care, and the church itself is unburdened by debt.

I am confident Lighthouse Full Life Center will flourish and its legacy will continue, as I move to Fort Worth, Texas to continue the legacy that is left for me.

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