Sex trafficking in the U.S. is a national epidemic—one that R&B crooner R. Kelly, who can be heard on Bishop Marvin Sapp’s new single, “Listen,” is accused of being a party to.
As loyal gospel fans become aware of the collaboration first reported by KRNB.com, some are asking, shouldn’t a man suspected of luring underage women into his “sex cult” and abusing them, be banned from the Christian pastor’s album?
The outcries only grew louder after the story of a young woman named Jerhonda Pace began circulating online.
The woman claiming to have been victimized by Kelly in her teens appeared on an episode of The Real, Monday, Sept. 18.
In an emotional sit-down interview, the now 24-year-old told co-hosts Jeannie Mai, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Loni Love and Adrienne Houghton that Kelly, 50, deflowered her at 16, “trained” her to satisfy him sexually, and also physically abused her.
According to Pace, she eventually escaped her predator whom she met at 15 while he was on trial for charges of child pornography in 2008. Her story follows numerous accusations of sexual misconduct against him.
Kelly previously denied the “sex cult” allegations.
“We as Christians should speak out against mistreatment of young women and anyone victimized by predators. That’s what Jesus would do,” wrote Empowering Everyday Women Online Magazine reader Lena Dixon in an email to our editorial team. “Bishop Sapp has no business teaming up with somebody like this and needs to show he supports women by refusing to make music with R. Kelly, who has a sordid and disgusting history of disrespecting, and taking advantage of young girls and women.”
Sapp, 50, is pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church with two Michigan locations: Grand Rapids and Muskegon. The 22-time Stellar Award winner, who was elevated to the office of the bishopric in 2015, is a well-loved and highly respected leader in the faith community.
The refrain of the Kelly-assisted song says, “God’s trying to tell you something…listen.”
It opens with the secular singer’s voice saying, “I know that it seems sometimes that, no matter what you do and no matter how hard you work, striving to make things better in your life, but, for some reason you’re not getting nowhere.”
Kelly delivers a few more lines before segueing to Bishop Sapp’s opening verse.
Hear the single below.
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to sex trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 24 hours, 7 days a week, at 1 (888) 373-7888. For information online, visit traffickingresourcecenter.org.
Need prayer for healing from the pain of sexual abuse? Click here to request prayer.
SOURCE: EEW Magazine News – Ann Jackson