WHO WE ARE
CAROLINA began in mid-2006 following the official retirement of the Melody Masters Quartet, a name synonymous with quality southern gospel music. Legendary names such as James “Big Chief” Wetherington, Jake Hess, and Wally Varner were Melody Masters whose tradition had been carried on by Scott Whitener, Roger Burnett, and Chris Roberts in a very popular and critically-acclaimed version of MMQ in the late 1990’s. One by one, MMQ members began leaving the road and following a brief Melody Masters reunion tour in 2004-2005, Scott, Roger and Chris decided to launch a new endeavor.
Today CAROLINA performs in all types of venues and outdoor events, even appearing with Elvis from time-to-time as J.D. Sumner and the Stamps. Their sound is characterized by rich harmonies, their music is absorbed in solid and meaningful lyrics, and their style and presentation is synonymous with many of the great quartet vocal groups.
CAROLINA will challenge and strengthen your trust in God as they share the love of Jesus Christ in a celebration of our faith, family, and freedom. Make plans to hear them soon!
Thank you to Charlie Griffin for his contribution to the individual descriptions below.
The group’s sound is defined by the recognizable voice of Scott Whitener. Whitener is no stranger to gospel music. His first singing experience was with the church trio where his dad pastored. He was an influential member of the regional powerhouse quartet the Regals for many years. In 1987, he joined the award winning Singing Americans. His dynamic voice and interpretations really grabbed the attention of Gospel Music fans.
After leaving the Singing Americans, Whitener also sang lead with Jericho – which was formed along with Dwayne Burke of the Singing Americans – until 1996. This group was recognized for their smooth, focused vocals in a church ministry setting.
Subsequently, Whitener transitioned to the Melody Masters in the mid-1990s as lead singer. During that time, the group lineup of Chris Roberts, Whitener, Roger Burnett, and Richard Sanders achieved success with performances at the National Quartet Convention and the Canadian version of the NQC, which was held in Canada’s in Red Deer, Alta.
As in life, things come full circle. After more than 20 years in full time Gospel Music, Whitener is now an ordained minister, serving as senior pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Gastonia, N.C. A graduate of Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) University and Wesleyan Fellowship of Leaders Acquiring Ministerial Education (FLAME), when you talk with Whitener you understand his philosophy of life. “I am a simple guy, a husband, a singer and pastor,” Whitener explains. “I love blue jeans, T-shirts, boots and buckles. I love my friends. I can’t stand fake stuff or people. Just be real. I am blessed with Gospel Music, but I am more blessed with the love of Christ I experience every day.”