Donnie McClurkin Biography

The Life and Journey of Donnie McClurkin

Donnie McClurkin
Donnie McClurkin. Verity Records

Donnie McClurkin Birth

Donnie McClurkin was born Donald Andrew McClurkin Jr. in Amityville, New York on November 9, 1959.

Donnie McClurkin Quote

"We all claim to worship the same God, so why don't we fellowship together? ... The only thing that keeps us from fellowshipping together are the church buildings, the organizations."


Donnie McClurkin - The Early Years

Tragically, Donnie McClurkin did not have a picture-perfect childhood. Instead, his was a childhood of sexual abuse and confusion.

At the age of eight, two days after the funeral of his baby brother (who had been hit by a car), he was first raped by his great uncle. Five years later, he was raped by his great uncle's son. The sexual abuse against him and two of his sisters was only one symptom of a family coming apart. By this point, his family was battling severe drug and alcohol abuse problems. Church was his only escape from it all.

McClurkin's aunt, a backup singer for Andrae Crouch, introduced him to the Gospel legend after Crouch performed at the Bethel Tabernacle in Jamaica, New York. That introduction lit the fire that fanned his love of music, but it did much more. Crouch became his mentor, encouraging him in his music, corresponding with him and sharing Scriptures that helped him in ways Crouch couldn't know.

Donnie formed the New York Restoration Choir and they performed on street corners and in prisons. At a gospel music workshop and seminar, he met Rev. Marvin L. Winans and the (then) 24-year-old impressed Winans so much that he invited him to Detroit to help start a ministry.

Looking Up and Falling Down

In 1989, six years after first meeting Marvin Winans, McClurkin made the move to Detroit and became an associate minister at Perfecting Church. When not at his home church, Donnie performed at churches across the US.

In 1991, the bottom seemed to fall out yet again. At 31, he was diagnosed with leukemia. His doctor wanted to begin chemotherapy immediately, but Donnie wanted more than modern medicine - he wanted a miracle.

With Rev. Winans praying over him and with him, Donnie stood on faith alone. In interviews with Ebony Magazine and, he admits that he had a lot of fear in his mind because he let "facts interfere with faith," but after a month, doctors could find no trace of the disease. His symptoms remained for another two months, but doctors never found any medical reason as to why.

He believes that all of it was God showing him that facts don't always tell the whole story.

The Healing of a Heart Begins

At this point in the Donnie McClurkin story, you would think that having overcome all of the tragedy, he would be unbreakable. Sadly, real life doesn't work that way. Even though things looked great from the outside (record labels, constant tours, a growing relationship with a beautiful woman), Donnie's past battles continued to fester in his heart.

Five years after overcoming leukemia and almost 30 years after being first molested, he broke down on a plane ride home from Los Angeles. As he pleaded with God to tell him why He had picked Donnie for such a path, he says God answered him by saying, "What do you do when you've done everything? How do you handle the past and that guiltiness, preaching to everyone else but still remembering what you've done? How you do deal with the shame?"

Out of that, the song "Stand" was born, and although Donnie had been sharing his story with his church for years, he took the first steps (through the song) to share it with a much larger audience. After getting his mother's blessing, he wrote Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor. He released a movie, From Darkness to Light: The Donnie McClurkin Story about his life in 2004. By sharing his story of sexual abuse and the homosexuality that he fell into afterward, he let others know that they are not alone.

In 2000, Donnie fathered a son. Though never married to Matthew's mother, Kim, McClurkin worked hard to be a part of his son's life. The following year, he adopted a 9-year-old daughter named Michelle.

Donnie McClurkin Discography

  • Duets, 2014
  • We All Are One (Live in Detroit), 2009 
  • Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs, 2004 Compare Prices - Certified RIAA Platinum 2006
  • Donnie McClurkin...Again, 2003 
  • Live in London and More..., 2000 - Certified RIAA Platinum 2001
  • Donnie McClurkin, 1996 Compare Prices - Certified RIAA Gold 1999

Donnie McClurkin Starter Songs

  • "The Great I Am"
  • "He's Calling You"
  • "I Do I Do"
  • "Church Medley"
  • "Create In Me A Clean Heart"

Donnie McClurkin Facts

  • Donnie is the Senior Pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York
  • His radio show, The Donnie McClurkin Show, is heard all over the US
  • He has won three Grammy awards, 10 Stellar awards, two BET awards, two Soul Train awards, two Dove awards, one BMI Christian Music award and one NAACP Image award
  • He performed at the White House during the presidencies of both George Bush and Bill Clinton
  • In 2004, McClurkin sang at the Republican National Convention and was criticized for his stance that homosexuality is a spiritual issue that can be healed by God
  • Donnie was scheduled to be a headline performer at Senator Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign but ended up only doing one show, due to his stance on homosexuality
  • McClurkin was once again removed as the performer in August 2013 because he speaks out against homosexuality. Donnie was asked by the Mayor of Washington, D.C. to not even attend the concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s march on Washington that he was scheduled to headline after gay-rights activists complained about his stance on homosexuality
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Your Citation
Jones, Kim. "Donnie McClurkin Biography." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, Jones, Kim. (2023, April 5). Donnie McClurkin Biography. Retrieved from Jones, Kim. "Donnie McClurkin Biography." Learn Religions. (accessed June 10, 2023).