Shane Dunlap to fill in for Mercy’s Mark

{Edit. All right, I give in. The first paragraph is gone.}

Shane Duncan will be filling in for Mercy’s Mark while they look for a permanent replacement. An email blast from the group early this morning says:

So the big question we are getting is “who is going to sing lead for Mercy’s Mark right now?”

We are thrilled to let everyone know that Shane Dunlap has agreed to step into the position while we are in the audition process. You may recognize Shane’s name from his many years in Southern Gospel. He became a favorite while traveling with his group N’Harmony. He later joined me in the original line-up of Signature Sound. He is a dynamic lead singer and a wonderful Christian man. It has been several years since Shane and I have traveled together and we are all excited that he will be joining us. Shane’s first date with Mercy’s Mark will be this Thursday, July 26th at SoGospelNews Fan Festival in Smyrna, Tennessee. If you live around Nashville we would love to see you. If not, check out the website, we will be posting pictures of the concert.

Wow…the Prophets making their debut concert and Mercy’s Mark debuting either a new or fill-in lead vocalist. If Nashville wasn’t a 7+-hour drive, I’d give that some serious thought. That is a concert worth seeing.

As to the move itself, I don’t really have any thoughts other than that I think Dunlap’s voice would be a better fit than Josh Garner’s. Garner has a powerful voice, and was great with the Florida Boys, and would be a great addition to many groups. But–though I could be wrong, and I have been proven wrong before–I think his voice would clash with Mercy’s Mark tenor Brent Mitchell’s power-tenor voice. So I’m happy to see Shane Dunlap stepping into the slot for now, and here’s hoping that Garner will find another high-profile opening at the level he deserves.


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20 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. I am delighted that Shane will be filling in and I’ll be at that first concert on Thursday! It’s only about 3-1/2 hours for me to drive.

  2. Daniel…

    What is “controversial” about Shane Dunlaps’s voice?

    I’ve heard no such dialogue along those lines. Archie Watkins, I can see that! But not Shane…who is a proven, talented vocalist and certainly will help Mercy’s Mark during his stint with them.

  3. John–there has been some controversy on the Singing News board. I don’t recall what it was specifically, though.

  4. I was trying to not comment on the “controversial” wording of your post but I just can’t do it. I have to agree with Inquirer. I’ve looked over all of the entries that have Shane’s name in them on the SN forums and found only very complimentary comments. I know that entries over a year old are typically deleted, but I really wish you hadn’t put that “controversial” statement on here when there is no way to verify it from your “source.”

  5. I’ve reviewed the SN forums and I don’t find anything “controversial” about Shane or his voice. I’ve been a member for well over a year and I don’t recall anything controversial or negative about Shane. In fact, I remember a LOT of great comments about him when he filled in temporarily for The Perrys last year. I think he has a very powerful voice and I’m looking forward to his being with MMQ. And I’m hoping that if he is a good mix with the rest of the group, that he’ll stay!

  6. Actually, I’ve heard more controversy over his attitude than voice over the years. Especially when he disbanded N’Harmony over Signature Sound. I’m not one to cause a fight, but he does come across as “I’m better than anyone else”, when I’ve talked to him several times. His voice is good, and he knows it.

  7. Donna and Diana,

    Trust me, I didn’t make it up. I have seen controversy somewhere–perhaps Singing News, perhaps elsewhere. I probably shouldn’t have referred to it if I couldn’t come up with a direct link, though.

  8. Daniel, glad to see you admit that you shouldn’t have referred to the “controversy” without having proof that such controversy exists. I respect you for that. That said, once something has been said it’s hard to reel it back in. Where are you sitting back and watching the controversy at? You claim to be watching it, but don’t know where it is. Bad reporting. It was enough to say that Shane is filling in with Mercy’s Mark until they find a replacement. It appears that the only controversy surrounding this is the one YOU created. I like your blogs, but try to be a little more careful the next time.

  9. Craig,

    The controversy happened. Now that I read Matt’s comment, it was actually more along the lines of what he said. But I didn’t want to go that far without remembering the specifics.

    I’m not backing down from my statement that there’s been some online debates over Dunlap. All I retracted was my initial thought that they happened on the Singing News forums. They may have, but I don’t remember the specifics for certain.

  10. Daniel, the point is you said Shane “seems to have a controversial VOICE”. (emphasis, mine.) That some people like his voice and others do not. That can be said about most any singer. Therefore, the comment was not necessary.
    As for his “attitude”, what Matt wrote is speculative, at best. He stated he “heard” about it. I traveled with Shane as a part of N’Harmony for four years. He’s a good man. The decision for him to disband N’Harmony wasn’t an easy one for him, but he felt it necessary at the time. It was a hard time for all of us as group members. There may have been some online debates about him in the past. It just seems to me that if you’re going to report “news” leave it at that. Don’t put your own “spin”on it. Bill O’Reilly would be very ashamed.

  11. Craig,

    My apologies for the misunderstanding.

  12. I’d actually love to see Dunlap stay in for the long haul. While I’d love to see Josh Garner with them (heck, any group), I did read on the SN boards where someone said (I believe it was you, Daniel) that he’d do better with a more traditional group. My best regards to MM as they find a replacement.

  13. I do believe I said that. I think Shane would be a better long-term member of the group than Josh Garner would. But since in my mind Josh Feemster defined MM’s sound, it will probably be a while before I feel that any replacement comes close to what Josh did with the group. I really like his voice! 🙂

  14. I was just mentioning what the controversy was that I heard. I think he has a wonderful voice, and a great stage performance. I had only talked to him a couple of times, and it seemed to go with what I heard. But, I do not know him personally, and with everything going on at those time, he might have been tired, who knows.
    Anyway, I wish him the best. And hope it all works out with him and MM.

  15. I hope everything works out well for both as well! 🙂

  16. Daniel,

    While I also appreciate your comments I do not understand what the comments are about Shane being “contraversial”. What I do know is that Shane is a great Christian man who loves the Lord and his family.

    You say the contraversy happened, Matt says it is what he heard. Was the problem between you and Shane personally? Maybe what you and Matt heard was from source that enjoys creating contraversy and problems and likes to start converstation that does nothing but to tear down and make them look better. (I will not name the people that I am referring to, but it would not take a rocket scientist to figure that out)

    You can take the comments for the truth from people like myself and Craig O’Dell. Craig worked for Shane in N’Harmony for several years and I was Shane’s roomate for over a year and Shane Dunlap is one of the best friends that I not only have from Gospel Music but from life in General. Shane and I will always remain friends long after Gospel Music.

    I spent some time outside of Gospel Music and during my darkest days few people stayed in touch with me. Shane Dunlap was one as was Karen and Ricky Gooch and my good friend Zane King.

    Needless to say I feel that God would bless Southern Gospel Music more if it were not for problems always stemming from comments like the above commnents. If we want to see this music go forward and be blessed by God then we need to all work for the same purpose instead of our own.

    Daniel, just what positive impact have you made on Southern Gospel Music and most of all for the kingdom of God?

  17. Eric, you must be pretty new to this blog. I’ll forbear replying, especially to the last paragraph, and let my positive contributions speak for themselves.

  18. Eric, thank you for your convictions. Comments and statements made simply to invike controversy are not helpful to anyone and do more damage than anything else. The tongue (or the pen) is a mighty tool. Everyone should use great care with it and pray that their words are life producing.

  19. BTW, Shane was outstanding last night with Mercy’s Mark. It was a great concert.

  20. I’m glad it’s working out for them.