The GMA (The Gospel Music Association) held its inaugural GMA Honors celebration on Tuesday evening, April 29 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville. The event was in celebration of the individuals and organizations that impact the culture through gospel music both past and present and featured special music, tributes, and much more. The GMA Honors will air on JUCE TV later this year.
The first Honors recipients included the inimitable Dr. Bobby Jones, international praise and worship leader Don Moen, tour pastor Michael Guido and 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.
Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Ellie Bannister Holcomb teamed up 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.
Grammy-winning Christian rap trio dc Talk (tobyMac, Michael Tait, Kevin Max Smith) appeared as presenters and honored Michael Guido. Their appearance erupted in cheers from the crowd.
Inductees Take 6 hit the stage 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."
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. 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.”
“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.”