An unknown man used money to lure little Willie Myrick away from the safety of his southwest Atlanta driveway on March 31. The stranger then grabbed Willie and shoved him into his car.
And the nine-year-old little boy’s love of gospel music most likely saved his life. The frightening kidnapping incident would eventually become a source of inspiration and celebration.
Willie began repeatedly singing the gospel song Every Praise during the nightmarish ride. The kidnapper drove the little boy around for a while before the tune had him cursing and yelling at the boy to shut up. Finally, he released Willie unharmed near East Point. “He opened the door and threw me out,” he said, “He told me not to tell anyone.”
Willie’s story caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Hezekiah Walker — the song’s author. Upon hearing the reports, Walker flew from New York City to Atlanta to meet Willie.
“I really believe that God spoke through me to save that young man’s life,” Walker said.
The community leaders held a gathering at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Willie’s honor, and the little boy recounted his traumatic ordeal before a crowded sanctuary. Hezekiah Walker attended the service and received a standing ovation as he hugged the teary eyed-little boy. Walker then led the congregation in singing “Every Praise,” the very song that was instrumental in saving Willie’s life.
“It’s just emotional to me because you never know who you’re going to touch,” Walker told 11Alive’s Blayne Alexander, “I just wanted to hug him and tell him I love him.”
Willie’s abductor remains on the loose. Police have released a sketch and are asking anyone with any information to call the local Crime Stoppers.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.