Growing up, Martha Munizzi’s family humbly traveled by car, and later in an RV, singing southern gospel at several churches around the country. Her mother, Faith, was a gifted pianist and singer, while her father, John Stallings, preached and sang.
Now Martha’s doing something similar, only this time she’s singing music with a black Gospel feel, and she’s a blonde, white woman. Martha counts Andrae Crouch, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, and Stevie Wonder among her influences, and her music generally has a soulful, emotional feeling just like the musicians she looks up to.
In 2004, Martha had the opportunity to record her breakthrough CD/DVD, “The Best Is Yet To Come,” at the world-famous Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. At first, she wasn’t sure how her songs would go over with the crowd. It turned out to be “so incredible,” she says. “It felt like we stepped into something way beyond ourselves.”
“The Best Is Yet To Come” took Martha’s music, “not just to another level, but to another plateau.” The supernatural anointing was very powerful, according to the singer.
Perhaps one of the reasons Martha’s music was so enhanced was because Israel Houghton had a hand in producing the CD. While plenty of artists make praise & worship CDs, few succeed in connecting with a mass audience as well as Israel and Martha do. On “The Best Is Yet To Come,” the pair did duets on some of Israel’s famous songs, including “Your Latter Will Be Greater” and “New Season.”
In concert, Martha’s music is dynamic, uplifting and powerful. She often talks directly to the audience, exhorting them with scripture that they repeat back to her. If you buy her “No Limits Live” 2-disc set, you’ll experience this; it’s like having a spiritual coach or cheerleader encouraging you when you listen to Martha.
Turns out that Martha uses scripture to help herself get through the junk life in a fallen world brings with it. She has had some painful experiences in her past, as we all have. Molested as a child by her close relative, Martha used to bite her nails a lot because she had a spirit of anxiety. She has since been healed. And despite her parents’ divorce, she is able to see how her own marriage can be stronger. Martha has learned to lean on God through her tough times. She doesn’t dwell on her pain like too many people often do.
“If I wrote a book, the molestation would be a chapter, not the whole book,” she says. “I’ve talked to others, young girls especially, who have had far worse experiences than I did. My childhood, for the most part, was happy. I had a stable family and lots of love. These days, if I am lead to share my painful past experiences with people, I love to say, ‘Look what God has done.’ He has been faithful.”
Martha is very focused on praise and worship as something that’s vital to one’s life.
“Our praise has power, and our worship is a weapon,” she reminds me. “Praise and worship takes you out of the realm of the flesh and puts you into the realm of the spirit. Praise and worship strips you of all that you are and all that you are worried about. It lets God be who He is.” –Mark Weber, Christian Music Daily