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Just a month and a day after the memorial service for his wife MaLinda Sapp, pastor and gospel music star Marvin Sapp was back in the pulpit Sunday, addressing his congregation at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“I’m not saying it’s been easy. … It’s been very difficult for me and for my family as a whole,” Sapp, 43, told more than 250 worshipers at the church’s 11 a.m. service.

“But I do realize the Bible is right: keep holding us up in prayer.”

MaLinda Prince Sapp died Sept. 9 following an 18-month struggle with cancer, leaving behind Sapp and their three children, Marvin II, 16; Milaila, 13; and Madisson, 11.

She had been a counselor and college instructor, and was serving as administrative pastor at the church, as well as manager of her husband’s successful gospel music career.

Nevertheless, Sapp said MaLinda had prepared well for the transition, and her legacy and their shared vision will continue.

“Her mentality was to ‘keep it moving,'” recalled Sapp of a phrase often spoken at her memorial service last month.

“She brought our whole leadership team to the house when she was (bedridden), and poured into them things they needed to know to keep things moving,” said Sapp, 43, during a post-worship interview.


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