Nashville greeted visitors to GMA Week with cold, rainy weather, and even teased them with a couple of tornado watches reminiscent of the 1998 GMA week. This did not dampen the enthusiasm of the GMA attendees who thronged the halls of the Renaissance Hotel and Nashville convention center on their way to register or meet a friend or see a star. The
theme for this year is Zeal with Knowledge, and the Zeal was already evident the first day.
Guests at the Renaissance were greeted by 100 pounds of the finest chocolate in the shape
of giant Easter eggs in the lobby – a nice (if somewhat worldly) reminder of the approaching season.
Arriving an hour before registration was over, I headed to the Davidson room to get my
media credentials before heading to the sky walk cafe for a bite to eat. If I had known what
would await me down one escalator flight, I would have skipped half my meal!
Curb Records was stationed one flight down hosting a 50’s themed ice cream sundae party. Girls
in 50’s attire greeted us at the door and inside Elvis table cloths and 50’s murals festooned
the room. Tubs of ice cream and assorted toppings lined the walls. They were down to the
last of the strawberry when I arrived but although I mourned the loss of the chocolate ice
cream, I managed to drown the strawberry scoop I got in plenty of chocolate syrup and
After my ice cream gluttony, I waddled back to the escalator for an hour of my favorite
GMA pastime — lobby watching. Yes, I am thrilled with the concerts, enjoy the seminars
and love running into all my old friends, but there is something about lobby watching that
is addictive. Call it a dose of reality TV, but I enjoy watching the show. From my perch on
the couch, I watched industry leaders like John Styll stroll by, then Dede Donatelli Tarrant
and her husband Cal. Former artists turned executive Rick Cua was next, greeting friends
with a smile and a hug. Steve Camp was not far behind Rick, armed and dangerous with his
cell phone and many artists and artist wannabees were seen and heard in the lobby on their
way to the Sunday night worship. I did not remain undetected on my couch as numerous
friends made their way over to say howdy.
Michael W. Smith led what has become one of GMA Weeks finest hours, the Sunday
Evening Worship at the Ryman. The driving rain kept a handful of people away, but the Ryman was still full of people eager to worship together. Leading the evening off with two verses of the national
anthem (did you know there are four verses?), Michael gave the evening a patriotic worship
theme. After a brief film about the work of Compassion International, Michael introduced
his special guest, Scott O’Grady, who was shot down over Bosnia in that conflict. Scott
said the experience drew him closer to God and turned him into a man of prayer. Scott
encouraged us to pray for those that know the Lord in Iraq that they would be encouraged
and protected; to pray for the nations in the coalition; to pray for our enemies; and to pray
for our own nation and for President Bush. After his remarks, Scott led the opening prayer
for the night.
Michael said about the worship, “This is the highlight of the week. Worship last year set
the tone for the entire week and even the Dove Awards.” He commented, “We want to see
God,” then added in a whimsical moment, “but not too close or we’ll die!”
Worship leaders for the Sunday Evening Worship were a Who’s Who of 44 artists and
groups in gospel music and included such worthies as Anointed, Patty Cabrera, Amy Grant, Natalie
Grant, GRITS, Rachael Lampa, Russ Lee, Geoff Moore, Nicole Nordeman, Out of Eden,
Mark Schultz, Selah, Skillet, Joy Williams, and ZOEgirl.
Stay tuned for more GMA Journal updates and photos coming daily!
Back by popular demand, we will begin our nightly (or wee hours) updates of all the activities we are a part of or stumble into beginning on SUNDAY, APRIL 6.
Stay tuned for:
Dove Awards Coverage
and Everything Gospel Music Week!Related Stories & Links:
2003 Dove Award Hosts Announced Nominees for the 34th Annual Dove Awards Michael W. Smith Wins 2002 Dove Awards Amy Grant Performs at 2002 Word GMA Showcase; The Newsboys Host 2002 GMA Sparrow Rock Showcase2002 Dove Performers, Hosts Confirmed 33rd Annual Dove Hosts Named Nominee List for the 33rd Annual Dove AwardsA Look Back at GMA Week 2001True Vibe at Gospel Music Week: Provident Showcase32nd Annual Doves Awards Handed Out in Nashville2001 GMA Journal: Wednesday with True Vibe, Katinas at GMA Week2001 GMA Journal: Sunday, April 222001 GMA Week Journal: Saturday, April 21 Michael W. Smith To Host 32nd Annual Dove Awards