Pastor John P. Kee received the Gospel Music Trailblazer Award, a national award, Saturday at the first Gospel Music Heritage Awards – or GHMAs.

The inaugural event, held in USC Aiken's Convocation Center, honored people from or living in the Aiken-Augusta area who have contributed toward the advancement or sustainability of gospel music.

The awards honored individuals who “have assisted in sustaining gospel music or even helping to develop it,” said Donna Moore Wesby, the general manager of WAAW Shout 94.7 FM radio and the executive producer and organizer of the event.

The other winners were as follows:

Keeping Quartet Alive: The Swanee Quintet.

Radio Announcer of the Year (male): Maverick Jackson.

Radio Announcer of the Year (female): Mary Kingcannon.

Gospel Music Rising Star: Trey McLaughlin.

Media Award: Parade of Quartets (The Howard Family).

Sustainer Award: Attorney Everett K. Chandler, esq.

Living Legend Award: Thelma J. Robinson.

Eugene Shelby Lifetime Achievement Award: Pastor Johnny Bussey.

Promoter of the Year: Doug Staley (It's Better Live Entertainment).

Quartet of the Year (female group): Bless-ED.

Quartet of the Year (male group): The Dynamic Abraham Brothers.

Quartet Ambassador of the Year: Pastor Billy Smith.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.