Mark Lowry confirmed this morning in a video on Facebook that he is in fact leaving the Gaither Vocal Band. He said that he wanted to slow down and do more solo dates.
Lowry was with the Vocal Band from 1988 - 2001 and then returned in 2009. He will be with the group the rest of the year. He will also do events like the cruise and Family Fest in the future. Lowry also said that the Martins will be touring with him in the spring.
Michael English has already concluded his last regular Gaither Vocal Band concert as lead singer, but he also will be at Gaither Fest and other future events. He was with the group from 1985 to 1994 and then rejoined when Lowry did in 2009.
Gaither's press release included a statement from Bill Gaither.
“I am grateful that we have had five bonus years with these incredibly talented artists. Thank you, thank you to Michael and Mark. For those of you who have followed the Vocal Band for the past 25 years, you know that I have worked with some of the most talented male vocalists in our field, and I promise you we are not going to let that standard down in this transition. I am sad to see Michael and Mark leaving, yet I am so excited about the new possibilities we are considering. So stay tuned for an exciting voyage in 2014! We will update you when we have made final decisions.”On a personal note, I had the chance to see the Vocal Band for the first time this spring. This lineup was absolutely incredible together, especially live. Mark and Michael will definitely be missed!
Here's the full release from Gaither.