Celebrated gospel singer Marvin Sapp announced Sunday that he is stepping down from the Michigan church he founded in 2003 to lead a different church in Texas.
Sapp, in a statement delivered to his church and shared with The Christian Post, said the decision to leave the pulpit at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids and move on to lead Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth is the fulfillment of a prophecy God began speaking to him about in 2017.
“In August of 2017, the Lord told me that 2018 was going to be the year for me to begin again,” he explained.
“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,” Sapp’s statement to his church said.
On his Facebook page where the announcement was also shared, many of his fans congratulated the bishop.
“Pastor Sapp you have served well. You have been consistent through the trials of life and continue to be an example to so many! Thank You. May you keep God as the center of your life as you move forward and work towards other goals and dreams,” wrote Jonique Vann.
Bishop Richard E. Young, who has led Chosen Vessel Cathedral since 1985, had announced in April that he would be retiring from the historic church effective Sept. 14. He said in a statement that it was the Lord that led him to seek Sapp as his successor.
“When I began considering retirement, it was the Spirit of the Lord that prompted me to call Marvin,” Young said. “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.”
Sapp, who is expected to assume the senior pastor role at Chosen Vessel Cathedral, on Sept. 15, said he received confirmation that his move to the church was “predestined” after “considerable prayer.”
“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,” he said.
Chosen Vessel Cathedral, which was started in 1920, describes itself as “the first Afro-American apostolic church in the City of Fort Worth.”