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Martha Munizzi Interview
Martha Munizzi Sees No Limits
The Psalmist Opens Up About Worship, Family, and Real Life
By Shamerra T. Brown
If you’ve never seen her, then it’s likely that you’ve heard her work. Martha
Munizzi is the extremely blonde woman making a gigantic sound in Christian
music. But what’s even more poignant is her passion for worshipping the
Lord, while giving her all for ministry and family.
What began as an assignment with a local church choir has burst into an
award-winning international ministry, spearheaded by Martha and her
husband of 19 years, Dan. In a matter of three years, Martha has managed
to capture a huge following for her unique brand of upbeat praise, heartfelt
worship songs, and eclectic blend of instrumental backing. In 2005, she took
home a Stellar Award (Best New Artist) for her sophomore album, The Best
is Yet to Come - the award was the first given to a non-African American
Martha has the kind of musical gift that conveys the beauty of making a
joyful noise, and the flow of lyrics that remind you of the priceless value of
remaining in the presence of the Lord.
Her latest release, No Limits, which debuted at No. 1, was recorded live in
Baton Rouge, weeks before Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. A DVD
of the live concert is scheduled for release this summer. In the midst of a
busy ministry schedule, Martha also found time to make her silver screen
debut last year in the movie, The Gospel. She ministered her breakthrough
Through signature songs like “Because of Who You Are” and “Say the
Name,” Martha has made a name for herself in the industry and with Gospel
music fans. But the psalmist wants none of the praise (her praise & worship
anthems are sung in churches across the world and recorded by other
notable artists). She has a clear understanding of her purpose and her
Dan and Martha (with her Southern roots in tact) are raising their three
children to serve the Lord in His Kingdom and she keeps them quite active
on the ministry team. It’s no secret that this praise and worship trailblazer is
excited about the things of God, while she’s not afraid to enjoy an abundant
life. And she’s unbelievably down to earth In fact, she was preparing dinner
for her family in her Central Florida home while discussed life and love in
Shamerra T. Brown: How has the response been for your fourth album, No
Martha Munizzi: You know, it’s been amazing. We actually came out No. 1,
we’re still in the top five, but more than anything, the people have
responded and said that they love the record and how much it’s ministering
to them, encouraging them. That’s the best part of it all, so it’s been
STB: As far as praise and worship in the body of Christ, do you think we
have progressed or digressed? As a traveling music minister, what’s your
MM: I think praise and worship is really a call back to God’s heart. I think He’
s calling us back. I think that’s why praise and worship has become such an
integral part of Gospel music because we’re always hearing that call
home…to hear what God is saying to us, to feel His presence in our midst.
When we get in His presence that’s when we really sense who He is and
what He can do. I’m excited that that’s happening. A real God becoming real
to His people
STB: So, do you find that people are embracing or shying away from true
MM: I’m finding that a lot of people are just really ready to worship. I know
that’s the case in the places I go. Most of the places that ask me to come,
know my music and are worshippers. There are a couple of places where we
go where it’s not your typical, normal…the place is not what I’m used to;
more of a secular atmosphere. We did an underground village in N.Y., we
did a Wal-Mart in the middle of rush hour, with people shopping. So I’m
going to places where the name of Jesus is not really mentioned and people
aren’t responding the way I’m used to. But it’s incredible how [some] hearts
are still ready to hear the Lord and to worship God.
STB: What values did you learn while growing up, that are applicable today
in your busy, sometimes public life?
MM: Oh the most valuable thing is my family, being with my kids. Even right
now I’m cooking, trying to feed everybody. That’s just what I love to do.
Making sure my family is happy and fulfilled. That’s really the most important
thing. If I never travel again…as long as I’ve got my family and they’re with
me - that would make me happy.
STB: What kind of spiritual leadership role do you take on when it comes to
your ministry team? Do you feel somewhat responsible for their spiritual
nourishment and growth?
MM: Well, that’s on its own developing. I find that at this point in my life, I
need to be surrounded by people who are mature in their growth. I was a
music director for many years and so I was surrounded by people who were
always needing to grow and now God has really blessed me with people who
have been in the music ministry or have worked in the church for many
years, and are a lot more seasoned. But at the same time, I have to hold up
the light. I don’t know what people’s standards of living are, but I know what
mine is. So I have to keep a step ahead so that I make sure I’m living and
being an example. And God is putting more and more people in my life that I
have to mentor, train and teach. It’s not easy, but I know I have to come up
in my leadership and I have a lot to offer. With the experience that I have, I
can really mentor and train someone, and have them be a blessing to their
pastor, and other people. So I’m taking that role seriously.
STB: How do you feel about your responsibility in the Kingdom of God? Is it
humbling to be used on such a level? …In relation to what you said about
the people that you’re around everyday and also the large platforms that
you minister to on a weekly or monthly basis.
MM: That’s something that is becoming more clear to me everyday, every
time I minister. You know, to hold that standard of righteousness and holy
living; that is such a major key point for me. There are many people who are
dealing with homosexuality, lesbianism, alcoholism and they’re in the church
To me those are the people who I’m going after. The ones who are in the
church who really need to get set free, and part of what I can do is be an
example and bring life, hope, liberty and freedom to people. And if they can
come into the service, feel free, and let God speak to them and at least
have some relief from depression for a few moments for God to move in and
really speak to them...That’s what I want to be and that’s what I want to
STB: Did you always know that your ministry would blow up like this?
MM: Yeah, I had visions and dreams and the Lord would show me some
things. But I didn’t know it would happen this quickly. And it’s always above
and beyond what you can hope, think, or imagine; that’s the great thing
about it. So, yeah I knew as a little girl that God was going to do some great
things in my life. So I’ve been just trying to please Him, so I wouldn’t mess it
up. It’s so much bigger than what I expected. I think that when we live in God,
we know and He shows us the future that He has for us. I couldn’t say we
should never be surprised because He wants to show us and reveal hidden
STB: Well yeah, because if He didn’t want us to know at least some parts of
our destinies, the Bible wouldn’t have instructed in Ephesians to
“understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph 5:15-17).
MM: That’s right.
STB: What Scripture are you focusing on for this season in your life?
MM: The main Scripture is Psalms 8:2 (Out of the mouth of babes and
nursing infants, You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger - NKJV). Truly, that’s
where our power is, it’s in praise. And that’s why we have to live a life of
praise because we fight off the enemy with our praise. We gain ground in
the spirit realm when we worship God and that’s what has been my model
STB: When you say “live a life of praise,” explain what you mean.
MM: The way you love your husband, wife, the way you treat your family,
your neighbor, pay your bills. If we never sing another song, we could still
live a life of worship. If we could never utter another melody, we could never
lift our hands, we could always live a life of worship, because worship is
obedience. And a worshipper truly understands, I can’t get up and sing and
say that I worship God on Sundays and go through the motions but yet I lie
everyday of the week, I’m late for work, I don’t care, I’m apathetic about
things. God is calling us to live a life that’s higher and pleasing unto Him, a
life of excellence. That’s what I really believe and I think that’s what God is
really asking from us. And that’s our next level as a body [of Christ].
Sometimes the sermons and the great songs dry up. But it’s that lifestyle of
living close to God that will never dry up. The relationship [with God], that’s
STB: What do you want the world to know about Jesus Christ, people who
are saved and unsaved?
MM: I’m so glad you asked me that I’ve been on several trips in the last few
weeks. Two times my husband didn’t go, and he usually travels with me, but I
had the privilege to minister and witness. I just told my husband I will not be
phony or fake. I’m not going to get on the platform and tell everybody about
Jesus but never share it with one who doesn’t agree with me, just because
they disagree with me. I want to practice my faith at every level. I want to
truly minister to those who are bound and are never going to hear who
“Martha Munizzi” is, unless they sit by me on an airplane. So I ministered to a
Hindu and another young man within a 24-hour period. I told them that God
didn’t come to condemn us, but to save us…through Jesus, they can be
saved. Both of them were like, “That’s good, but we don’t really believe all
that.” I told them, “It doesn’t really matter what you believe. But faith is
believing in the things you can’t see. That’s what faith is.” I told them both,
“You’re not really concerned about heaven or hell right now because this
plane is flying really well…