NASHVILLE, Tenn. – – The GMA (The Gospel Music Association) held its inaugural GMA Honors celebration at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on April 29th with special tributes, reunions and praise to the honorees. The event was in celebration of the individuals and organizations that impact the culture through gospel music both past and present and is set to air on JUCE TV later this year.
The first ever Honors recipients include the inimitable Dr. Bobby Jones, international praise and worship leader Don Moen, tour pastor Michael Guido and world-renowned non-profit organizations Show Hope and World Vision. In conjunction with the Honors, the GMA inducted producer Brown Bannister, the venerable Gaither Vocal Band, Take 6 and posthumously Rich Mullins, writer of “Awesome God,” into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. To view biographical information on this year’s honorees, please visit the this link: Honorees and Hall of Fame bios and photos HERE.
GMA Hall of Fame inductee Brown Bannister said he was proud of CCM music and expressed how much people that are touched by the music will remember it eternally. He went on to say, "One encouragement to Christian artists is to tell the truth and be real.”
Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Ellie Bannister Holcomb joined forces to sing, "El Shaddai" while proud dad, Brown Bannister looked on, also accounting with great pride memories of working with Grant as she embarked on her hugely successful music career.
John Huie, co-chair and visionary of GMA Honors shared, “This evening has exceeded all expectations. The power of music was on display tonight. Our industry is full of individuals that share way more than music, they share themselves, their hearts and souls and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it all.”
Hall of Fame inductee, Take 6, showed up in full force with both past and present members filling the room with their tight harmonies for an once-in-a-lifetime performance. The group reveled that in celebration of their 20th Anniversary, they are set to produce and record the remake of their very first album, So Much 2 Say.
Organizational honorees Show Hope and World Vision received overwhelming support from the audience as testimonies and video clips powerfully displayed their contributions. Through different methods, both entities share missions of encouragement, hope and Christian values.
After taking the stage to a standing ovation, honoree Dr. Bobby Jones used his charismatic charm to wow the room with quick witted humor and humility. Fast to give credit to music industry heavy weights for assisting in his success he closed with "The Gospel will never be old. It's an everlasting! It's something special! It's Jesus!”
Michael W Smith sang "Awesome God" penned by the late Rich Mullins, while a montage displayed memories of a life not forgotten. Rich’s brother, David, accepted the legend’s induction to the GMA Hall of Fame on behalf of his brother.
The evening concluded with an induction of the Gaither Vocal Band. David Crowder paid tribute to the group by performing the Gaither penned standard, “Because He Lives.” Inductee Bill Gaither said, “I love the art of music, but more importantly, I love the message we are able to share.”
“What a night! The GMA Foundation is charged with observing our gospel music history and its trailblazers,” said Jackie Patillo, Executive Director of GMA. “We have looked at all of our events with the desire to better serve our music community. I am grateful to John Huie, Gary Glover and Jay Powers, the Co-Chairs of GMA Honors, for their vision and labor of love. Tonight proved that we have established an evening of honor that will be one of the most anticipated of the year.”
LOVE YOUR COUNTRY.VOTE. was the presenting sponsor and Steinway & Sons served as the Official Piano for the evening.
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the Gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the Gospel through music of all styles including Pop, Rock, Praise & Worship, Urban Gospel, R&B, Hip Hop, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, Country and more. The GMA community consists of members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Honors and IMMERSE. For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit www.gospelmusic.org
or contact the GMA directly at 615.242.0303.