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After a two-year stint in Atlanta, the GMA Dove Awards are heading back to Nashville.

The annual ceremony – the Grammys of the Christian music industry – is also moving to fall for the first time. The show is usually held in April and, until 2011, always took place in Tennessee.

Now it will be held Oct. 15 at Lipscomb University Allen Arena in Nashville and televised on GMC. Whether the show will air live or at a later date hasn’t been determined.

“We had a great time in Atlanta, but as you know, most of the Christian music industry is in Nashville, so it was time to come home,” said Jackie Patillo, executive director of the Gospel Music Association.

Patillo didn’t rule out a return at Atlanta – “Life has taught us to never say never” – but was enthusiastic about the organization’s collaboration with the Nashville university this year.

While Patillo agreed that a large number of Christian music artists still reside in Atlanta – including past Dove winners and nominees Laura Story, Lecrae, Chris Tomlin, Jamie Grace, Casting Crowns and others – she noted that the majority of the infrastructure of the industry, such as Christian record labels, is based in Nashville.

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