The gospel world was seemingly surprised last year when Pastor Jamal Bryant was announced as the leader of the late Bishop Eddie Long‘s New Birth and now the industry is in shock again. Marvin Sapp is leaving his position as Pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center in Detroit to take on the role at a church in Texas.
So where exactly is he headed in the Lone Star state? Sapp is expected to begin his role as Pastor of Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas in September.
In a statement to eurweb, Sapp detailed his decision to leave Detroit. “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. 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. 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.”
Sapp will reportedly stay on as chairman of the Board of Directors and “provide spiritual oversight”.