DELMARVA’S HEART AND SOUL: Brothers Put Salisbury on the Gospel Map
On any given day, you can hear the brothers’ sounds of hope being sung inside their father’s church, United Faith Church of Deliverance, in Salisbury. Their current hit is called “The Blood.” The song is being played on radio stations throughout the country right now. It was written 15 years ago by one of the Eastern Shore’s own, Mandel Copeland. He was just a few miles away from popular church when the idea came to him.
“Driving, and at that stoplight, it was right up here at Isabella,” said Copeland. “I found myself in a real bad state of depression. A voice said this is a universal thing, Mandel. Everywhere you go that red light means to stop, and that’s what the enemy has to do when he sees the blood on your life.”
A friend suggested he submit the song which refers to the blood of Jesus Christ — to gospel artist Charles Butler and Trinity.
“I knew it was an okay record, and that was part of the frustration,” said Copeland. “When is my time?”
Minutes later, Copeland received a phone call; Butler wanted the song.
“On one condition,” Copeland said. “I give you the song but my brother has to do the lead.”
Butler agreed. Copeland’s youngest brother, Josh, couldn’t believe the news.
The oldest and youngest sons of Eastern Shore staple, Bishop George Copeland, have sung together nearly all of their lives.
“I grew up on the Winans and the Clark sisters so I was like man, I want to sing,” said Josh Copeland.
Award-winning gosepl group Trinity first recorded the record two years ago. Shared clips on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram have made it increasingly popular. The group then recorded the song again last year. It’s been up for several national awards — with Josh even invited to the nationally acclaimed “Stellar Awards” and a Grammy Awards party last month in Las Vegas.
Still, success hasn’t changed the brothers.
“Spiritually, it has gotten me to go further in Christ,” said Josh Copeland. “Now as an individual, no. I’m the same ol’ country Josh Copeland.”
It is, however, changing the perspective about Delmarva for some people who the brothers meet on their new travels.
“They’re not really quite sure where Salisbury is, but if I say Ocean City, everyone is like oh, okay!” said Josh Copeland.
What’s next for the Copeland brothers? Mandel Copeland is considering digging through his closet to take a second look at some other songs he’s written. Josh Copeland just started working on his solo project called “Uphold Me.”