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Grammy Winning Singer Donnie McClurkin Says Music Saved Him from Bondage

( [email protected] ) Apr 24, 2014 02:24 PM EDT

Pastor Donnie McClurkin is no stranger to proclaiming his faith. The Grammy winner, who has publically expressed his belief in the power of the gospel, recently gave an emotionally charged testimony crediting his success to the prayers of a leading gospel singer.

"I never thought that I would be doing this because people told me what I could not do," said McClurkin during a performance at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. "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."

McClurkin said he had been a slave to debilitating feelings of guilt and shame from the early age of 11, and believed there was no end to his struggle. He has been vocal about his troubled youth, including the death of a sibling, his battle with drugs and being sexually abused by family members.  

Despite these obstacles, McClurkin believes the influence and prayers of Andrae Crouch, a pastor and legendary gospel singer, helped set him free.

"Andrae Crouch laid his hands on my head...and prayed one simple prayer: "Lord, give him what you gave to me," McClurkin recalled.

The pastor believes that without God's healing through music, he would still be struggling with shame.

"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," he continued.

McClurkin, who formerly engaged in homosexuality due to his being abused as a child, said in a 2002 interview that God had delivered him from a gay lifestyle.

"I've been through this and have experienced God's power to change my lifestyle. I am delivered and I know God can deliver others, too," he shared, according to The Washington Post.

McClurkin made headlines in 2013 when he was removed from the lineup of a concert celebrating the March on Washington due to anti-gay comments.

The singer, who also pastors Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, N.Y., has won several Stellar, Grammy, Dove and other awards. 

Related: Grammy-Winning Gospel Singer Donnie McClurkin: 'We Need More Faith-Based Event in Hollywood'