Bishop Marvin L. Sapp on Sunday appointed Rory Marshall as the incoming senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center in Grand Rapids during a celebration of the church’s 16th anniversary.
At Sunday’s worship service, Sapp also led the congregation in a ceremonial burning of its mortgage, as the church is now debt free. This will allow Marshall “to focus on preaching, teaching and outreach,” the church said in a statement to The Christian Post.
The 32-year-old new senior pastor was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and his father, Rory Marshall Sr., was a pastor in the city and one of Sapp’s early mentors. The family moved to Chicago when Rory Jr. was 12.
Marshall will relocate from Illinois, where he was a staff pastor at The Powerhouse Chicago under the leadership of Archbishop William Hudson III. He will start leading worship at Lighthouse Full Life Center sometime in November.
Sapp founded Lighthouse Full Life Center in Grand Rapids and Muskegon with his late wife, MaLinda Prince Sapp, in 2003. He stepped down as senior pastor of the church in September to become the senior pastor of Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas. However, the celebrated gospel singer continues to be chairman of the board at Lighthouse Full Life Center.
Marshall’s pastoral appointment came after the church’s search committee and board reviewed a list of potential candidates. He received a unanimous vote.
“It would have been easy for me to select a pastor unilaterally, but after prayer and contemplation I decided to put together a group of individuals who I trusted to help me make the best decision,” Sapp told CP. “I wanted to be sure to have a consensus from those who represent the congregation that the new pastor would serve.”
Sapp said he gave the committee a list of candidates which they interviewed and then narrowed the list down to three recommendations. “Rory was at the top of my initial list,” he added. “After meeting with the committee, he remained the top candidate.”
“My greatest desire is that the incoming pastor would have more assistance than MaLinda and I had when we started Lighthouse. I wanted not only a smooth executive transition, but for Lighthouse to be positioned for long-term growth and success. I am proud to hand over a debt-free church,” said Sapp, who is helping to manage the transition.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Melissa Barnhart