Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is launching a Christian and gospel division in Nashville. "It's an area that we've had our eye on for a while," says David Renzer, worldwide president of UMPG.

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is launching a Christian and gospel division in Nashville. "It's an area that we've had our eye on for a while," says David Renzer, worldwide president of UMPG.

The new division, Universal Christian Music Publishing, has formed a joint venture with Christian publishing veteran Michael Puryear and his Final Four Music. A former VP of BMG's Christian publishing arm, Puryear is also a songwriter of hits by Point Of Grace, Bruce Carroll and Larnelle Harris, among others. Puryear, who will now report to Pat Higdon, senior VP/GM of UMPG Nashville, will work to develop new songwriters and pitch songs already in the Universal catalog.

In addition to Puryear, veteran producer/publisher Elwyn Raymer will act as a consultant to both Universal and Final Four Music. Raymer has been involved in Christian music since the '60s and has worked with Steven Curtis Chapman, Dick and Melodie Tunney and Greg Nelson.

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