Marvin Sapp: Life After Death
Marvin Sapp, award-winning gospel artist and pastor, recently shared his heart on the state of Christian ministers committing suicide and suggested that the issue of mental health was still very much a taboo topic in the urban community.
The Michigan minister also revealed that if it were not for his late wife’s expertise in and advocacy for psychological well-being, he also might have taken his own life three years ago when the mother of his three children passed away from cancer.
“I can be honest and say I absolutely understand what these men of God have gone through. The pressures of pastoring and being in the public eye, losing someone you love and all of that. I find after reading through their stories that all of them are similar to mine in one way, shape, form, or fashion. If it’s the pressure of ministry, if it’s the pressure of losing a loved one, whatever it may be,” Sapp told The Christian Post.
“I look at their situations and I say to myself, ‘What was it that caused me to stand, even when I could folded just as they did?’ People always say the pressure will cause a pipe to burst,” he added.
From television shows to scandalous interviews, some pastors lives are being shown consistently. In December 2013, a 48-year-old Illinois pastor grieving the death of his wife shot himself in front his pleading teen son. Ed Montgomery, the deceased pastor who served at Full Gospel Christian Assemblies International church in Hazel Crest, reportedly had been complaining about hearing his late wife’s voice and footsteps.
In November 2014, a 42-year-old pastor shot himself inside his vehicle in the driveway of his Macon, Ga., home in between church services. The Rev. Teddy Parker, Jr., was reportedly taking medication for manic depression and avoided sharing his difficulties with his Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church congregation.
What factors exactly led these Christian ministers to take their own lives?
Considering their stories, Pastor Sapp said his own story might have turned out differently after the Sept. 2010 death of his wife, MaLinda Sapp, who passed away due to colon cancer.
As Sapp explained, “One of the greatest blessings of being married to MaLinda Sapp is that my wife was a licensed psychologist who was also a college professor in psychology. She was a major advocate for mental health and was on the board of a mental health hospital here in our city.”
After his wife’s death, it was “a natural progression,” for the Grand Rapids, Mich., minister and his children (currently ages 19, 16 and 14) to seek counseling.