Bishop Marvin Sapp’s life story has been made into a movie that will debut this Sunday (August 21) on TVOne.
In Never Would Have Made It: The Marvin Sapp Story—the Grammy Award-nominated gospel star shares that despite a lifelong dedication to the church, he also experimented with drugs and alcohol.
“I’ve always sung gospel music but [that was] because my mother made us go to church,” Sapp told Page Six, “But just because we went to church did not mean the church was in us.”
He said, “after my mother and father got divorced I started smoking marijuana daily at the age of twelve,” adding that he started “drinking and popping pills at the age of sixteen and at eighteen I snorted my first line of cocaine.”
Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sapp says that he “really rebelled” with friends—and adds that their outcome was not good.
“One of my friends is an alcoholic now, one of my friends is still strung out on crack,” Sapp said. ”One of my friends is in prison for twenty-seven years for second-degree murder and another one of my friends died about fifteen years, because he had a kilo [of drugs on him when he was arrested].”
Sapp said that he wants his film “to show… that just because somebody goes to church does not make them perfect. We are all flawed in some shape, form or fashion. People need to see that because for some strange reason when they think of Marvin Sapp, people think I walk around with a halo but they don’t know my story.”
Sapp’s hit single, “Never Would Have Made It,” was certified platinum after its 2007 release. The song was a crossover hit that reached #14 on the Billboard R&B charts. He has since released four more studio albums.
The 55-year-old preacher and singer told Page Six that he is also hoping to find love again. His wife MaLinda Prince Sapp died of cancer in 2010. “I got to get married again. I’m a better man married than when I was a single man,” he said. “I’ve been single for the last 12 years. Marriage is great for me.”
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