Entertainment

MercyMe's Bart Millard shares the story behind the smash hit Christian single 'I Can Only Imagine

Bart Millard from the critically acclaimed Christian rock band MercyMe joined Doc Thompson and Kriz Cruz to share the story behind his upcoming film,  "I Can Only Imagine."

Millard wrote the song following his father's death who he had had a tumultuous and abusive relationship with growing up.

The song imagines what Millard's father experienced standing before God after receiving salvation.

Millard shared some challenges the group faced early on and how the band got its name.

"We started playing in churches. Avoiding hard labor was the main reason. Just trying to make ends meet and play in church camps or wherever people would have us," said Billard.

"It just kind of snowballed and one thing led to another. We started making independent records. We started in '94 until about 2000 when just kind of just did it ourselves ... We'd write our own songs. No one cared ... At some point, we decided to try and write our own original stuff and one of the last independent records is when we wrote the song 'I Can Only Imagine.' We've kinda just been hanging on to the ride ever since ... it's been a crazy, crazy journey."

The song was released in 2001 as the album's lead single and quickly gained airplay on Christian radio before crossing over to the mainstream which ultimately landed it in the contemporary top 40 list by 2003.

See the full interview above. 

To see more from Doc, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” weekdays 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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