MercyMe lead vocalist Bart Millard and Sparrow recording artist Nichole Nordeman shared songwriter of the year honors at the 26th annual ASCAP Christian Awards, held last night (May 24) at the Richlan

MercyMe lead vocalist Bart Millard and Sparrow recording artist Nichole Nordeman shared songwriter of the year honors at the 26th annual ASCAP Christian Awards, held last night (May 24) at the Richland Country Club in Nashville.

Millard was acknowledged for "I Can Only Imagine," "Word of God Speak" and "Spoken For." Nordeman penned "Holy" and "Legacy."

Song of the year went to the Newsboys' hit "He Reigns," written by front man Peter Furler and published by EMI CMG Publishing. That company picked up the prize for publisher of the year.

Point Of Grace received the new Partner in Song award in recognition of "the passion and excellence with which they record the works of Christian songwriters." During the last decade, the Word Records female foursome has scored numerous hits, including "The Great Divide," "I'll Be Believing," "Dying to Reach You," and "Gather at the River."

During the evening, U.S. representative Marsha Blackburn joined ASCAP in presenting a special citation to the Gospel Music Assn. in recognition of its 40th anniversary.

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