In a recent heart-stirring testimony, Pastor Donnie McClurkin credited his God-given musical talents and the prayer of an influential gospel singer in helping him to get free from the shame and sense of inferiority he had been experiencing at just 11 years old. 

"I never thought that I would be doing this because people told me what I could not do," said McClurkin. "They didn't tell me who I was, they never told me what I could accomplish, who I could be. They put the shackles on and the limits on." 

"But God used music to free me by increments of all the bondage. Until I could move past what people thought of me, until I could move past people's opinion, until I could move past people's nay-saying, until I could see in me what others wouldn't tell me was there." 

McClurkin, who pastors Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, N.Y., and is the winner of several Stellar, Grammy, Dove and other awards, gave the brief testimony during a recent performance at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. 

He went on to share how Andrae Crouch, a pastor, a celebrated gospel artist and one of the pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music, encouraged him at the age of 11 with a prayer that God would give to McClurkin what God had given to him.