Lewis Temple Christian Episcopal Methodist Church Grambling celebrated its 135th Anniversary on March 7.
Dr. Marvin L. Sapp, the Grammy-award winning Gospel artist who made “Never Would of Made It,” was invited by the church to host the celebration.
“We wanted to invite Dr. Sapp to be introduced to Grambling not as a musician but instead as a preacher, said Lewis Temple’s Pastor David Hartfield-Dyles. Sapp addresses this directly in his sermon.
“Somebody thought they were going to a Sapp concert. I can tell because you didn’t bring your Bible,” said Sapp. “I can charge a lot of money for that particular song that you want me to sing. I put my kids through college with that song (Never Would of Made It).”
Throughout Sapp’s sermon he expounds on his hardships throughout life and how they’ve shaped his faith. Sapp told the crowd that being a Christian doesn’t exclude you from life’s hardships or woes, but that through those things you will grow and become more refined. Sapp using an analogy to gold explained how fire kills and purifies.
“Gold has to go through a process…but when heat is turned up the impurities can be stripped,” he said.
Sapp’s experienced his most devastating blow when his birth farther, mentor, and wife of 20 years all passed away in a short succession. These deaths served as an inspiration leding to the Sapp’s breakout album “Thirsty”
The anniversary also included Dr. Sapp being awarded an honorary membership into the Grambling Tiger Marching Band. He was awarded a signed football and letterman jacket by GSU band director, Dr. Larry Pannel.
Dr. Sapp, the senior pastor of Lighthouse FLC Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. left the audience with one underlying message.
“Don’t just thank God when things are good but thank him at all times.