Heart of the City
He is a different breed of Christian artist with a musical background that is as diverse as his cultural heritage. He was born in Moline, Illinois in 1959. When he was five years old his parents became missionaries to Liberia, West Africa. There he was exposed to many tribal customs and ceremonies. Some of these involved the use of "talking drums" and lasted 76 hours. Many nights they would go to bed hearing the rhythmic patterns coming from the village across the river. In 1969 the family took up residence once again on American soil. It was there, in Bloomington, Illinois, that Marvin with the help of a friend gave up his love for drums to learn guitar. Within three years he began writing songs. This opened a door of friendship with many other musicians. It was through the inspiration of these jam sessions that a desire to minister in music began. Little did Marvin know, but music would become his secret hideaway to help him through the many changes that lay ahead. In 1976, the family returned to Africa - this time to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). They built a church in spite of living in the midst of a war and turbulent social upheaval. When Marvin was almost drafted into the Rhodesian Army, he and his brothers moved back the U.S. Marvin realized the call of God was upon him at the age of 18 while attending Bible School in Jackson, Mississippi. What was in his heart drove him to the heart of the city to take up his ministry right on the streets of Houston, Texas. A local pastor recognized Marvin's musical gifts and ability to reach out and touch the souls of the youth in the city. He believed so much in Marvin's vision that he offered the use of three church vans so that Marvin could bring kids to church by the vanload. Marvin's unique style of Christian music, known as "Street Music", is on the cutting edge of today's outreach vision.