On Thursday, September 9, 2010 Lady Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp departed this earth and peacefully went on to glory. Lady MaLinda, the affectionate name she was referred to by most, was a virtuous woman, a devoted mother and was faithfully united in covenant with Rev. Dr. Marvin L. Sapp, her adoring husband and a gifted man of God. Lady MaLinda was born March 1, 1967 in Mobile, Alabama to the late Cornelius Sr. and Barroneece Prince. She was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was taught to love the Lord early in life. Lady MaLinda was a praying woman, she communed with the Lord daily and she was often requested to share the Word of God all across the country.
It was September 19, 1992 that Lady MaLinda was united in marriage to her best friend and soul mate Rev. Dr. Marvin L. Sapp and to this covenant partnership they were blessed with three wonderful children, Marvin II, Mikaila and Madisson. Lady MaLinda was domestic at heart, unwavering in her dedication to foster a Christian home filled with love, joy and strong family values. Sharing family time with her husband and children was the priority for she and Pastor Sapp. Her care for her family was the personification of a Proverbs 31 Woman, “a wife of noble character… and far more than rubies. Her husband had full confidence in her and lacked nothing of value. She brought him good all the days of his life. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her”. (Proverb 31: 10-12, 28). This September celebrates the 18th wedding anniversary of their union. Lady MaLinda will be lovingly remembered and continually celebrated by her entire family.
Lady MaLinda devoted herself to enriching the spiritual and personal lives touched by her along the journey of her life. Her life was guided by Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness”. Along the journey, Lady MaLinda earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University and was a Nationally Board Certified Counselor and limited licensed professional counselor. She also holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the Center of Friends International Christian University.
Early in her career, Lady MaLinda worked as a Professional Psychologist for a Christian Mental Health Service and later as a Professor of Psychology and Limited License Counselor for a local Community College. For several years now, she and her husband have personally sponsored and hosted an annual Back to School Rally, now serving over 4,000 community members. The event provides backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, clothing and meals to over 1,000 youth in the inner city each year. In 2003, Lady MaLinda co-founded, with her husband Dr. Marvin L. Sapp, Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, located now on the campus of its 17- acre property, Kingdom Square. In 2005, Lady MaLinda retired from her professional career to devote herself to their ministry where she served faithfully as Administrative Pastor. She founded Grand Rapids Ellington Academy for Arts and Technology (GREAAT) Inc., an extended learning after school k-12 program that introduces the study of the Arts and Technology in the mastery of academic skills and content. The after school model was an instant success, offering performing arts, technology, Spanish, and academic tutoring to well over 300 students each school year. She also founded Rhema Bible Institute, an affiliate Center of Friends International Christian University and sponsors an annual Black College Tour that gives local high school students an opportunity to visit prospective colleges. She was very active in community affairs, serving on the Board of the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services as well as several other boards. She has received numerous recognitions and awards acknowledging her leadership in the community . For the past two decades Lady MaLinda Sapp has impacted numerous lives and though her job on earth is well done, the heritage of her influence will forever remain.
Her husband, a loving and gifted man of God, Rev. Dr. Marvin L. Sapp to whom she was united in covenant with and honored throughout her life, survives Lady MaLinda. Marvin II, Mikaila and Madisson, her three wonderful children will dearly miss her and their loving and caring relationship. Her loving and devoted mother Barroneece Prince, grandmother MaLinda Ward of Memphis, TN, and mother-in-law Lodena Hollifield of Forest, MS also survived by her; she is the beloved sister of Cheryl Kimble and Latonja Curry-Buggs; and brothers Cornelius (Sylvia) Prince, and Winchell (Kenyatta) Curry; and brother-in-laws Danny (Cindy) Sapp, Henry (Christine) Sapp and Darnell Sapp all of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and is loved by a host of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, family and friends. Gone before her were her father Cornelius Prince, Sr., her father-in-law Henry Lewis Sapp and her grandmother Louise White.