I am overjoyed to be a part of the ministry and mission of Grace on Harbison. God has called me to preach the truth of the Gospel so that others might know the love and justice of Jesus Christ and be agents of his grace in their families and communities. I was born and raised in Murrells Inlet, SC and grew up attending Socastee UMC. I earned a BA in Religious Studies with a minor in history at the University of South Carolina. I received my MDiv from Duke Divinity School in May of 2010, began my ministry on July 1, 2010, and was ordained an Elder in June of 2012 at the SC Annual Conference. Prior to serving at Grace, I served as associate pastor at St. John’s UMC in Rock Hill. I enjoy spending time at the beach. The salt water always restores me. I am a gym rat, but that is mainly to support my love of good food.
I share my life and ministry with my wife, Lollie, and our sons, Wyatt and Thomas. Lollie is a South Carolina native as well, having grown up in Marion, SC. She has a deep call to lay ministry in the administration of the church at the denominational level. Wyatt and Thomas bring the most joy to our lives with their boundless energy and excitement. They love sports, superheroes, and reading. We all enjoy Gamecock football, the outdoors, grilling, going to community events, and experiencing new adventures together.
Grace’s Choirs and Music are under the supervision of Dr. Merritt.
MARK DANIEL MERRITT is a Choral Conductor and an ASCAP composer and arranger. The recipient of numerous commissions, Merritt received a major commission in 2007 funded by the Kentucky Arts Council and the Catlettsburg, Kentucky Leadership Club, to compose the score to the musical play River Dreams, which had its world premiere that year in Ashland, Kentucky. From 2002 to 2012, Merritt was Associate Director and then Director of VOCE Choral Ensemble, an auditioned choral group in Mount Airy, North Carolina that he helped to found. From 2012 to 2015, Merritt was the Minister of Music at Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in San Antonio, Texas, where he greatly expanded the quality and size of the music ministry as the church moved from “mission” to “parish” status. Groups under Merritt’s direction have performed his music at the North Carolina Music Educators Conference, the Biltmore Estate, historic Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia and the Texas Collegiate Women’s Choir Festival. Merritt completed a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting under Dr. John Silantien at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of South Carolina under Dr. Larry Wyatt.