Freed through Praise: Willie Myrick's Saving Faith
ATLANTA -- When 10-year-old Willie Myrick was kidnapped from his front yard in Atlanta in April, a song is what set him free.
Willie's faith and quick thinking in singing a gospel song has now led to a worldwide testimony about God's power to deliver.
Willie, who was born to atheist parents, was raised by his godmother Codetta Bateman.
She often took him to church where he learned about God and developed a passion for the Bible.
Growing in Faith
CBN News recently spoke with Willie about his bravery and faith.
"Well my pastor, he talks about different scriptures and we're on Genesis 31 now. But he tells us a little stuff about him and he goes over it every Sunday," he said.
Bateman, who has raised Willie since he was 3 years old, said she's seen his faith blossom over the years.
"Faith is important to this house and believing in God is important," she said.
"I said, 'In this house we go to church.' He knows God. He knows Jesus," she added.
Bible Study over Playtime
While most kids his age are busy playing video games, Willie spends his free time studying the word of God.
When asked to share his favorite scripture he responded, "Well I love all of them but one is Psalms, Psalms 23 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
And when asked who his best-friend is, he said, "I always think that God is with me everywhere I go. Like, when I'm in bed he has a chair, he just watches and when I'm in the car he's just on the other side."
CBN News got a taste of Willie's love for memorizing the books of the Bible. He recited the listing of Old Testament books during our time with him.
"Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Dueteronomy ," he happily shared.
Little did he know that his childlike faith would be put to the test that day in April.
Praising Past Fear
"Some guy came up in a silver or grey Honda Accord," he recalled.
He said the stranger wrestled him into his car and when he tried to yell for help the man covered his mouth with his hand.
He said his abductor was cursing and that he feared for his life.
"I was thinking that he was going to hurt me bad, real bad," he said.
Thrown into the back of a locked car, Willie's fear soon gave way to faith in the form of a gospel song he learned at church.
He began singing it in the back seat of the kidnapper's car. He sang a bit of the song for CBN News.
"Every praise is to our God, every word of worship is to our God. Every praise, every praise is to our God," he sang.
Willie said the popular song "Every Praise" by Grammy award-winning artist Hezekiah Walker is one of his favorite gospel songs.
"I could sing the whole thing by heart," he said. "If you praise the Lord he will help you in mysterious ways."
No Threat Could Stop Praise
Despite repeated threats from his captor, Willie said he sang the song for three hours non-stop while the man drove him around.
Willie said the man seemed agitated by his constant singing and decided to let him out of the car.
He was shaken but un-harmed. He said he then ran to a nearby home and called his godmother, Codetta.
Investigators have no leads in the case but have released a sketch of the man who kidnapped Willie. And while his godmother is rejoicing that Willie is back home and safe, she said she continues to pray that police catch the man who snatched her son.
"He needs to be caught," she said.
Willie's story has since made headlines around the world and has led to talk show appearances like Arsenio Hall, and radio interviews across the country.
He even had the chance to perform his "Every Praise" with Walker in Atlanta during a surprise celebration.
Willie said he is enjoying all of the media attention he is getting but he admitted that he is just an ordinary kid who serves an extraordinary God.
"It really doesn't matter to me as long as I still have Jesus and he's still working and doing his magic," he said. "Well it's not magic. It's just power."