Since the death of his wife, MaLinda, in 2010 due to complications from colon cancer, Sapp’s journey as a single father has been both “challenging and rewarding.” He has been raising his two daughters, MiKaila, 19, and Madisson, 17, and son, Marvin Jr., 22, while navigating his career as a pastor, artist and entrepreneur.
The 49-year-old said he initially felt inadequate and too grief stricken to take on the challenge of being a single dad who would have to face the challenges of raising his kid’s through their adolescence alone. Ultimately, Sapp said he ended up setting his personal objectives aside to make his children his number one priority. As a result, Sapp is now well-adjusted and thriving as two of his children are college students currently enrolled at Howard University and Alabama A&M University, respectively. He has also extended his parenting skills through his involvement with Western Michigan’s first K-12 charter school, Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology (GREAAT) — where his late wife was a co-founder.
The Huffington Post: After your wife’s passing, what was your initial reaction to becoming a single father?
Marvin Sapp: It was a shock, just simply because I had to try figure it out while I was trying to heal at the same time. And when you’re dealing with the whole process and aspect of mourning, as a single father I had to put my personal emotions on the back-burner in order to make sure I was raising healthy young people.
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