On Sunday, Bishop Marvin Sapp announced to his congregation that he will be turning the reigns of the church he founded over to Rory Marshall. A church board and search committee chose Marshall from a list of candidates and he received a unanimous vote. Sapp official stepped down as senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center, in Grand Rapids and Muskegon in September. He has pastored the church in two locations for 16 years. He founded the ministry with his late wife Malinda and will now pastor Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas. The gospel singer/Bishop will, however, continue to be the chairman of the board at Lighthouse Full Life Center.

Marvin Sapp looks to the future

On Sunday, Bishop Marvin Sapp was in Grand Rapids for the 16th anniversary of the church he founded. while there, he was able to burn the mortgage for Lighthouse Full Life Center. This leaves his successor, Rory Marshall with a debt-free ministry, which will allow him to teach, preach, and focus on outreach rather than debt. Sapp was quoted as saying he wanted to find the best person to take over his legacy, and believes he did. He also stated that he wanted to make sure that the new pastor did not have the financial struggles that plagued himself and his wife Malinda when they started out.

Bishop Marvin Sapp has made a deliberate effort to see that the transition runs smoothly and in an organized manner.

He said he desired to find a replacement who had the same drive, determination, and passion for the ministry as he did. Lighthouse has always been about the community and not just the building and the local congregation. The Bishop says he believes Rory Marshall is the man who has a similar vision and will continue the legacy at the church that he and his late wife began 16 years ago.

Rory Marshall steps up

Rory Marshall was born in Grand Rapids but his family moved to Chicago when he was 12. His late father, Rory Marshall Sr. was a pastor and also a mentor to Bishop Sapp. The 32-year-old Marshall Jr. has been a guest speaker at Lighthouse Full Life Center during the past few years. He says he fell in love with the ministry and congregation and is honored to have been chosen to take them into the future.

It looks like everything is falling in place for the transition and next phase of the ministry.

Bishop Marvin Sapp emphasized that he could have unilaterally chosen a pastor to succeed him, but decided it should be done by a committee of church members. He says much prayer and effort went into the search and he believes the best man has been chosen. No date has been released, as to when Rory Marshall will officially step in as Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center, so stay tuned for updates.