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Southern Baptists shine in spotlight of Dove Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Several Southern Baptist songwriters and musicians found themselves in the warm spotlight of the Dove Awards, winning accolades for their ministry performances during the 2001 season.

“This is a tremendous night for all Christians to celebrate what God has done and is doing through gospel music,” said Congressman J.C. Watts. “The Dove Awards celebrate what is good in music.”

Watts, a former Southern Baptist youth minister, was a presenter at the 32nd annual Dove Awards on April 26 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

“I’m a big fan of Larnelle Harris [a Baptist deacon] and Nicole Mullins but my 16-year old is a huge Kirk Franklin fan,” Watts told Baptist Press.

Watts noted that Southern Baptists have a long tradition of providing solid Christian singers to the Gospel Music Association, noting that Point of Grace was one such group.

Point of Grace, the contemporary female quartet originally from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., also made a Dove Awards appearance.

Point of Grace opened the Dove Awards performance debuting a new single, “Begin With Me.”

“We’re just so excited to be here after taking time off to rest and spend quality time with our husbands and families,” said group member Heather Payne.

And while they strictly held to their sabbatical, Payne acknowledged there was one brief lapse.

“We did do a big concert at Ouachita,” she said. “We go there whenever they call us. It’s such a wonderful school.”

dc Talk’s Toby McKeehan was also in attendance at the Dove Awards — as a recipient.

McKeehan won a Dove for “Dive” in the modern rock/alternative recording song category. McKeehan and the other members of dc Talk created the band while they were students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Matt Austin, the general manager of Christian Hit Radio WAY-FM and a Southern Baptist, picked up the award for radio station of the year in a large market.

Baptist Press has a working relationship with Christian Hit Radio to provide national news analysis for their nationally syndicated morning show.

Karla Worley, the wife of Brentwood (Tenn.) Baptist Church minister of music Dennis Worley, won a Dove Award for a youth/children’s musical.

“Friends 4Ever” was written by Worley, Steven V. Taylor, Seth Worley, Peter Kipley and Michael W. Smith and was published by Word Music.

Students from Belmont University were involved as assistant producers of the awards program.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: MCKEEHAN PICKS UP DOVE.

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  • Todd Starnes