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The Dove Awards will take place at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA on April 20th and will air on GMC on Sunday, April 24th at 7:00p.m. ET

NASHVILLE, TN  The 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards announced today that it will celebrate local church heroes by inviting Georgia churches of all denominations to send in 30 second clips finishing the statement “ my pastor is my hero because.”  The Gospel Music Association is partnering with Christian Copyright Licensing International and PraiseHymn Sound Tracks in launching this special recognition of pastors in the State of Georgia.

Howard Rachinski, President/CEO of CCLI and GMA Board member, says, “Many times, the church pastor is an unsung hero, faithfully and sacrificially serving their respective congregants and communities.  Their ongoing care and dedication through hardships, economic uncertainties and catastrophes really exemplifies the foundation of our nation.  We can’t think of any higher honor than to express our appreciation in this manner.”

Jackie Patillo, GMA Board member, says “The GMA is delighted to be hosting the Dove Awards in Atlanta this year.  We are especially thrilled to be honoring the front-line warriors in the church community, the pastor, through this special recognition.”

Parishioners are being asked to submit a clip sharing their message, including the pastor’s photo and video clip to www.cclitv.com/localhero.  Submissions must be made by March 21st.

The top 30 videos will be selected by the GMA and will be shown during the commercial breaks during the show on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.  In addition, those 30 pastors will be invited to a special pre-show reception, receive gift packages, meet artists and attend the Dove Awards show as special guests of the GMA.  The awards will air on GMC, America’s favorite network for uplifting music and entertainment, on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 7 p.m. ET.

About GMA:
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 more than 2000 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 Dove Week and IMMERSE. For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit www.gospelmusic.org or contact the GMA directly at 615.277.1376.

About GMC:
GMC ( www.watchgmctv.com), the fastest-growing network in television and the number one digital network in perceived value (source: BETA Research), is America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. In 2010, The Parents Television Council™ awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” GMC was the only television network to receive the highly coveted honor last year.

GMC can be seen in nearly 48 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224.

About the Fox Theatre:
The historic Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s premiere venues for live entertainment. The Fox’s 4,678 seat theatre is booked more than 300 performances a year ranging from Broadway to rock to comedy to movies. In December 2009, Billboard Magazine ranked the Fox Theatre in Atlanta as "The #1 non-residency venue worldwide for the decade (5,000 seats or less)."

The Fox Theatre is located on Peachtree Street in the middle of the city. Not only is it on the National Historic Register, but it is one of the most beloved landmarks in the city because it is a real memory maker for the citizens of Atlanta. They may have come here to see their first performance or Broadway show; they had their first date here, and maybe even had their first kiss in the balcony. Our ballrooms are spectacular and have hosted everything from Sweet 16s to weddings and corporate events.