ATLANTA (WACH) -- A young boy's love of gospel music may have saved his life.
Earlier this month, police say a man kidnapped then nine-year-old Willie Myrick from his southwest Atlanta driveway. He allegedly drove the boy around for some time before dropping him off unharmed.
But Willie's actions during those terrifying three hours are inspiring people around the country. Willie says he sang the gospel song "Every Praise" until the man let him go.
T hursday evening, community leaders held a meeting in Willie's honor, celebrating his happy ending, but also telling other parents and children what to do if this happens to them.
In front of a crowded sanctuary at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Willie recounted the moment he was freed from the car. Willie said while he was singing, the man kept cursing and telling him to shut up before eventually kicking him out. "He opened the door and threw me out," Willie said. "He told me not to tell anyone."
Willie's story traveled fast and soon caught the ear of Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Hezekiah Walker -- the man who wrote the song. "It's just emotional to me because you never know who you're going to touch," Walker told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander.
To read more about Willie, visit our sister station,WZTV, here.