Pat Barker leaves Mark Trammell Quartet

Pat Barker exciting the audienceIn a statement posted on Singing News, Mark Trammell has announced that bass singer Pat Barker is leaving the group.

There are some things in life that you just can’t imagine ever having to do. What I’m about to say is one of them. After much prayer, fasting, and seeking the mind of God, our beloved bass singer Pat Barker has tendered his resignation. He is much in need of being at home with his precious family. While it grieves our hearts, we must honor his decision and begin the process of moving on with God.

We are once again reminded that the only thing that doesn’t change is Jesus. A new chapter in the life of MTQ. And, a new chapter in the life of the finest, most Christlike man to ever travel on a quartet bus. Pat has stated that he will be with us until early May and then will be going home. I would ask that you not only pray for us as we begin the process of looking forward, but also pray for Pat, Kesha, and their three sweet children. Pray that God will give them direction, peace, and spiritual strength.

Bass singers interested in auditioning for the open position can email a resume, recent photo, and two songs to

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

50 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. WOW, this is a shocker.. I enjoyed watching Mr.Barker perform, he always, ALWAYS looked as though he truly enjoyed being on that stage and ministering… Best of luck in whatever you decide to do, You will be missed..

  2. This one really knocked the wind out of me. On a personal level, I’m so sad to read this, because Pat Barker is not only one of the best bass singers in gospel music, but one of the genre’s finest gentlemen and greatest ambassadors. We need more men like this.

    But I know Pat well enough to know that he seeks to honor the Lord above all else, and this is no exception. Praying the Lord’s blessings as Pat follows His will for his family.

    Pat, thank you for your Christian example to all of us, and for your unwavering kindness to me. We hope you will not be a stranger.

  3. Wonderful person. Hopefully finds success and/or fulfillment in his next part of life.

  4. Sad day, indeed. However, the character of the man himself shines through. Blessings, my friend. You’ll be greatly missed.

  5. Praying an overflowing of blessings upon Pat Barker and his family as he follows the will of God for his live. May the blessings Pat so freely gave to us through his ministry and Godly example be returned to him in abundance.

  6. This is the worst SG news I’ve heard since Glenn Dustin left L5. How does the industry carry on when the heavyweights keep leaving? Sure, I wish Pat the best. We’ve had some good times when he visited the west coast, and I certainly understand the dynamic of family life when you’re a singer. But this news is like a shot to the stomach for me – I can only imagine the anguish of Mark right now.

    • In the spirit of the smiles that Pat has brought to so many of us: Calling him a heavyweight when his diet last year was so successful? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • I bet you didn’t think your “less frequent posting” would be interrupted so soon! Blessings to Pat and family.

  7. What a mighty bass singer and great guy! I’m sad to see him go, but God has a great plan in his life!

  8. Whoa… I can honestly say that this is the most shocking news I’ve read in, honestly, MONTHS. Not just Southern Gospel news either… I’m literally in shock right now. But I think this shows what has been very evident since Day 1 after Pat joined MTQ and gained a national profile: That he puts the Lord first, no matter what.

    Also, I’ll add that it’s announcements like this that make me so, so glad that we live in the digital age!! We still have the ability to interact with Pat and him with us, and that’s something that I know many of us are grateful for!

  9. Wow this industry is losing a great singer. Pat is not only a great bass, but also has a great quality solo bass voice which doesn’t just grow on trees. He has really done a tremendous job for the MTQ. Sorry to see you go Pat.

  10. Wow! Totally unexpected, but pray that God is moving in this decision! Also, just noticed that church that this photo was taken! Ha!

  11. Wow, just wow. Thats all I can even say about this…wow.

    And on a serious note…who’s Mark going to pick on now?!

  12. In an era that includes the names of Tim Riley , Jeff Chapman , and Eric Bennet, Pat Barker’s name will always rank among them. A great bass singer and a Godly servant of The Lord. He’ll surely be missed.

  13. Get ready Matt Fouch. You’re the next man up to sing tenor in the NQC ’14 All-Bass Quartet!

    • I’m retired from all bass quartet singin’

  14. WOW,


  15. Pat is part of an elite group of bass singers that Mark Trammell has sung with: Ray Dean Reese, George Younce, Tim Riley, Pat Barker

    Can’t wait to hear who MTQ hires as the next guy! With the success they’ve had in finding Dustin Black, I wouldn’t be surprised if its someone currently outside of the genre.

  16. Great God given talent like Pat Barker just don’t go away and you never see him again. I also believe that he will follow God’s leading. That’s what makes him such a great person. This music is in his blood. Never count him out. I like many, love his electricity in concerts. I saw him the first time with The Dixie Echoes and thought this guy has something extra special that many don’t get.

  17. Wow! We had to make sure that this wasn’t April 1st! Sorry to hear this, but we know how important family is. We will be keeping Pat and his family, and MTQ in our prayers.

    Even though we have never met you, Pat, we thank you for what you have contributed to SG music. God’s Blessings to you!

    • My immediate reaction when I saw this was: I wish this release had come out exactly one week earlier.

  18. OH MY! He is definitely my favorite Bass singer, and I will miss him. However, our loss is his family’s gain. I’m glad I bought their “Walk Talks” CD so I can continue to listen to him.

    God bless you richly, Pat; and hopefully, someday you will be able to come back!

  19. Terrible blow to MTQ.

  20. No! Just… no. πŸ™

  21. Wow! I don’t follow MTQ espcially close, but Pat’s a big name in the genre and this caught me totally off guard.

    I totally respect his decision. I’m traveling away from my family for work for 3 nights later this month, and it’s a major event around my house that dad’s going to be gone for 3 nights. These guys make a huge sacrifice and, with the exception of the GVBand probably EHSS types, they’re nowhere near close to paid enough to be gone so much.

    • JSR – Yes. But there also comes a time where, if your family needs you home (as the press release indicates), it doesn’t matter if you’re making $30,000 or $70,000 per year.

      • Oh, I totally agree. I was just pointing out that these guys have demanding jobs and don’t really make a lot of money in return for those demands. I once turned down an opportunity that would have required a ton of travel, but at least I would been making well over six figures at this point, but being away from church and my family wasn’t worth it. God has well rewarded me for putting him first and turning down that opportunity.

      • Yes; put another way, it’s indeed harder to walk away from six figures than mid-five figures.

      • You can make $30kit as a gospel singer? Wow…

      • 30k as in 30,000 rather. Hooray for smartphones and autocorrect.

  22. Sad to see Pat go πŸ™

    Who are the realistic “free agents” out there to take his place? Personally I wouldn’t put Gene McDonald or Glenn Dustin in that category…who else is out there or will Mark have to do an extensive search?!

    • I think we have to think of it strictly in terms of replacing a voice. When we speak of on-stage personality, Barker was one of those once-in-a-generation (or at least rare-in-a-generation) talents. When it comes to personality, there’s simply no way to replace a George Younce, a J.D. Sumner, or a Pat Barker. And yes, I named all three in the same breath.

      • Agreed. Replacing Pat’s voice is difficult in itself, but finding that rare person who will be of utmost personal character, able and willing to intreat with the fans, and be compatible to travel thousands of miles a year with other guys in confined quarters is a supreme challenge! Best of luck to Pat and the MTQ.

  23. I will certainly miss Pat! He is a true gentleman and a great singer!!! Wish him all of the best in the world!!!!

  24. I am so sorry to hear this news! Pat not only became my favorite current bass singer, but he also is one of my all time favorites! He was as close to George Younce as any bass singer has been in a long time, and George is the standard that I compare all bass singers to.

    Several people have mentioned Pat’s stage presence and how obvious it is that Pat loves what he does, but I also noticed his love for this music even when someone else was on stage. At a concert several years ago (when Pat was still with the Dixie Echoes), I spent a lot of time watching Pat sitting on the sidelines cheering for the other artists and singing along with their songs. It was obvious Pat loves Southern Gospel and is a fan as well as an artist.

    I am praying God’s blessings on Pat and his family as well as on the Mark Trammell Quartet. I know Pat will continue to sing, and I sure hope it is in God’s plan to allow him to return to the road soon so we call all enjoy him once again!

  25. I’m in shock as well. BTW, when did Pat join MTQ, if you know?

    • That would be January of 2010.

  26. Very sad to see you go Pat. God bless in you future indevours. Thanks for your contributions to this music we love so much. I echo all the comments made concerning your voice and personality. I always enjoyed your comments on this page. Its easy to see that you are a great fan and student of this genre. Hope we willl hear from you in the future. God bless you and your family.

  27. Sorry to hear that Pat is leaving. Would really like to see Tim Duncan with MTQ.

  28. Wonderful world of GM !

  29. Hated to hear this. Pat is a friend and he will be missed on all the dates we do with MTQ. Especially when we do the Cathedrals reunion or Remembering the Music concerts and Gerald calls a song that I don’t know πŸ™‚
    I respect his decision and wish him and MTQ all the best! Miss ya buddy!
    Just to clear some things up: No, his On the Couch With Fouch interview didn’t mention or cause this. However, if I had known at the time, I would’ve been asking. I guess his interview with me is probably his last.

  30. Life is simply a few seasons and change can be difficult. Having said that, when a man who has a walk with Christ like Pat Barker has and makes a decision, it is an opportunity to see how obedience to Gods leading plays out for all involved.

    It was an honor to share the stage with Pat and I hope it happens again some day.

    Michael Booth

  31. I still recall my disappointment following Tracy Crouch’s departure from the Dixie Echoes. I thought no one could ever fill his shoes. By the time Pat Barker left, I realized that he had left them larger than he found them. Throughout his time with the Mark Trammell Quartet, Pat Barker has not only been my favorite bass singer, but also my favorite artist in the genre. While I will greatly miss him, I admire his willingness to put his family first.

  32. “Left them larger than he found them.” Great description. And accurate.

  33. I first heard Pat when he was singing with the Diplomats. They walked on stage and Pat began singing “It Is Well.” Now, there are arrangements that are higher, or lower… and maybe even vocally more impressive; however, what stood out was his incredibly rich voice “painting the picture” and selling that song like I had never seen before. It was one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever seen. It was Pat being Pat… singing from his heart and connecting with people. Needless to say, his success hasn’t surprised me one bit. When I heard he was joining the Echoes, I knew it wouldn’t take long for the southern gospel world to fall in love with this guy. And it didn’t… Pat will certainly be missed!

  34. I remember watching Pat down around the stage in Louisville (before MTQ), and he sat there and sang every song with every group, never missing a word, like a kid in a candy store, loving every bit of it! Then his presence in the Gospel World grew, and he became a major “player.” Pat is a wonderful bass, great writer of “where are they now” in Singing News, and a wonderful Christian man and witness. The gospel music world is losing a star, but we have to understand and appreciate the needs of his family. I, for one, will miss him greatly. If it is hard for us to give him back to his family, think how hard it has been for them to give him to us. Best wishes and God’s blessings on you and your family, Pat. We will miss you! Please don’t be a stranger. Visit us at the NQC and bring the family!

  35. I got acquainted with Pat while Eric was singing with the quartet. A great talent and sweet spirited man. I know how hard it is to have to come to a crossroads in life, and having to leave a ministry that you love and have a passion for. I also know that there are priorities in life that the Lord expects us to be aware of, that being immediate family. Been there, done that. The Lord always opens other doors of opportunity. Although he will be missed no doubt, I’m sure Pat has prayed about his decision and will be at peace. Let’s just pray for him during this transition. God Bless you Pat, and hope to see ya down the “Glory Road.”

    Ernie Phillips

    • Ernie, I have loved listening to you for many many years, it was such a treat to hear you “on board” with the Kingsmen when they went through so much transition a while back! That being said, I met Eric while he was with MTQ, and told him I thought he was just about as good as you, :). It was a treat to meet him, and he is very much missed. I met Pat Barker at the same concert. Both those guys are so personable and Godly men, you can’t help but admire them for more than just their music. Pat will be sorely missed, too. Mark has a special gift in picking “the right man” so I feel confident that he will find just the perfect one. I know he’s very prayerful about this process, and that makes the difference. I still hope that Eric will come back to SGM some day, but I realize that there’s priorities that have to be attended to, and family is at the top of the list. I hope the same for Pat, I am sure neither of them will be forgotten any time soon, just as you have not been forgotten. God’s blessings on all of you!

      • Thanks, Lelia for your thoughts and kind words.


  36. Some have sung lower, but none have sung better than Pat. I think he has reminded all of us what really makes a good, solid bass singer. Not only that, but you don’t encounter a spirit like his very often. Great guy, funny guy, & a very uplifting guy. Don’t stay gone Pat.