The father of Christian singer Mandisa told an audience during a “Celebration of Life” service Saturday that his daughter did not die from self-harm and that she had been battling COVID-19 in the weeks prior to her death. “She did not harm herself,” John Hundley, Mandisa’s father, said during the service at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. “Mandisa loved the Lord, and the Lord loved Mandisa.”

Mandisa Lynn Hundley died on April 18 at the age of 47, and although an official cause of death has not  been released , her father addressed the issue during the service. “I’m not a detective. But I have spoken to the detective twice,” he said. “I told him what I was gonna say, and he did not disagree with me, although he said, of course, he cannot say anything yet. It will take about three weeks, I think he said, before they can give a report.”

Mandisa’s body was found on the floor in her home but away from her phone.  “There was no way for Mandisa to get around the bed and go up there and get a phone to call for help,” he said.

He added, “She told me some time ago that she had gotten COVID-19, and she had been weak trying to get over that. But she was trying to press through.”

Friends and family members of the Grammy-winning artist celebrated her life.  “She loved the Word and poured her heart out in worship,” said Sydni Simons, a friend who toured with Mandisa as a dancer. “She was passionate about unity, and she was intentional about diversity. She was vibrant and loved to dance.”

Travis Cottrell, worship minister of Brentwood Baptist Church, said of Mandisa: “The anointing was so real, it was so pure, and it was so powerful. ”

Mandisa’s father,   John Hundley, said his favorite song by his daughter was  Bleed the Same , which was a collaboration with TobyMac and Kirk Franklin. The lyrics, he said, “are asking you and me, all Americans, to come together in unity and get along. ”

Author and speaker Beth Moore joked that Mandisa “hit a note so high, it gave us all a nosebleed. ”  Mandisa sang during Living Proof conferences where Moore spoke.

“Every word, whether sung or spoken, hit a resonant chord with her audience, and she loved Jesus in a way that made everyone around her want to love Him,” Moore said. “… We saw her life and her love for Jesus. We witnessed her worship when no one was looking. We would see her in the back of an events center or a sanctuary, dancing before the Lord.”


Remembering the Beautiful Heart of Mandisa

Mandisa Funeral Will Be Live-Streamed: She Was a Beautiful Soul, TobyMac Says

Photo credit: Youtube/Brentwood Baptist

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.