A 10-year-old Atlanta boy who was kidnapped by a stranger on March 31 used his vocal skills and love of gospel music to get out alive.
The unidentified man reportedly used money to lure then nine-year-old Willie Myrick into his vehicle. Myrick was with the abductor for three hours, and during that time, the boy sang his favorite gospel song “Every Praise” over and over until the man eventually let him go.
“He opened the door and threw me out,” said Willie to WXIA TV. “He told me not to tell anyone.”
After Myrick’s story hit the news, the man who wrote the song, Grammy-winning gospel artist Hezekiah Walker, decided he needed to meet the young boy.
“It's just emotional to me because you never know who you're going to touch,” said Walker to 11 Alive News. “I just wanted to hug him and tell him I love him. I really believe that God spoke through me to save that young man's life.”
Walker and Myrick were able to meet at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church on the boy’s 10th birthday, and Walker, along with a tearful Myrick, wound up leading the congregation in a rendition of “Every Praise.”
In addition to the celebratory aspect of the meeting, other people from the community gathered to discuss the issue of child safety in the Atlanta area.
"Our concern is not just the city of Atlanta boundaries," said organizer Michael Langford. "It's the society in general. It's metro Atlanta. We've seen a number of attacks. We want to say to folk, if you harm our children, not only will the police be looking for you, the community will be on your trail, too.”
Police are currently searching for Myrick’s abductor and are offering a $10,000 reward to anybody with information regarding his whereabouts.