Mariah Powell – Web Editor; Torre Massie – Photographer
Controversy over some of Gungor’s theological views raised concern for some faithful SonFest-goers this year, but overall feedback from SonFest was unaffected by the band’s beliefs.
Gungor fans campus-wide have been asking for the band to headline at Sonfest for a few years now, and finally the popular group was slated to headline the stage in the Grove.
But recent changes in the band’s theology and music style distressed some SonFest fans.
Angie Mannon of Huntington, West Virginia, commented with her concerns on MVNU’s SonFest Facebook page, “MVNU headlining a band who openly admits they don’t take the Bible literally? I’m surprised and saddened…”
MVNU’s James Smith, one of the events organizers, said, “We did receive a handful of emails or phone calls ahead of time expressing concerns, but we received more positive feedback about Gungor than negative.”
Youth leaders interviewed generally said they did not object to Gungor’s music.
MVNU alum Faith Taylor, a youth leader at First Church of the Nazarene in Mount Vernon, said she encouraged the teens she works with to attend SonFest.
“It’s an uplifting event and the atmosphere is great,” she said.
Though the overall feedback has been positive, MVNU did issue a statement to address possible controversy about the lineup for SonFest.
“SonFest is not intended as an official expression of the theological convictions of the Church of the Nazarene,” it read.
“The basis for our fellowship is not located in total doctrinal agreement, but our common experience in Jesus Christ.”