His world was characterized by violence, alcoholism, and abuse, but young Donnie McClurkin found a safe haven in his church, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, Assemblies of God. It was there, at the age of nine, when he made a commitment to Christ. Throughout his troubled youth, amidst the strife of daily life, he learned to stand on the promises in the scripture. "A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men." (Prov 18:16) "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it" (Rev. 3:8). Donnie was born, and raised in Amityville, New York. Because of a God-given gift of music that ran in his family, Donnie formed the McClurkin Singers with his siblings, and a few close friends in 1979. It wasn't long after that when Donnie began to feel a calling to preach. He went on to meet gospel-legend Andrae Crouch, who became a mentor to him. Through that relationship, grew a friendship that would shape the entire course of Donnie's future.