Billy Graham Center
Memorial to Merrill Dunlop, 1905-2002
On left: Richard J. Oliver Sr. and Merrill Dunlop at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1936. On right, Merrill (standing) with son David, Lenore and daughter Donna in 1953. Not pictured, son W. Leonard.
"Music in evangelism? I think it has a very great part. Its not the ministry
because there is nothing that takes the place
of the Word of God. But I think its a supporting ministry in the sense that music
is...has always been a part of...of the joy of the
Gospel. People want to sing. People want to sing and give an expression to their
praise. Song of praise are very wonderful,
songs of testimony. And you know, it is hard to find good songs of praise, words
of praise, good songs...sets of word for
testimony. I have people giving me words for songs all over the country. In fact,
maybe any given year I'll get scores of song
poems sent to me, but most of them are not too desirable. I find most of them are
the preachy type of songs. "You should do
this, you should do that, you should do the other." Or they're songs on prayer.
Now there is nothing wring with songs on prayer
except that so many people write songs on prayer. You can only use a small few of
them, you know. So I don't encourage too
many songs on prayer, Songs on invitation the same way. But the songs...there are
three types of songs, poems I look for
constantly: sings of testimony, songs of praise and any song that has to do with
the redemptive work of Christ. And that is the hardest to find. Very few people seem to write songs about the redemptive work...
the finished work of Christ, what it means,
what He's done, what His sacrifice really means.... You've got to have some
aspect of the Gospel in it to be a
Gospel song and that means the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
So my feeling is that music in evangelism should
portray the very thing we're preaching and that is we're talking to people
in...in...in another language, that is the language of
music, saying the same thing, but that message should be there. Too many times,
I've seen music that's just going no place
and...in some religious meetings that I feel sorry about. Sometimes you have a good piece of music and poor words.
Sometimes you can have good words and poor music. And its great
when you can have both that are fine."
Excerpt from tape T3 an oral history interview with
Merrill Dunlop taped June 1, 1979.
for a brief biography, part of the guide to the Merrill dunlop collection in the
BGC Archives (Collection 50)
to hear Merrill Dunlop describes the early days of radio broadcasting in Chicago
and his part with evangelist Paul Rader in the city's first Christian radio
to go to transcripts of two interviews Mr. Dunlop recorded made about his life
and ministry in 1978 and 1979.
to see some documents from Mr. Dunlop's years with the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle.
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