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04/06      I Can Only Imagine (PG)

Growing up in Greenville, Texas, Bart Millard suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, Arthur. When Arthur becomes terminally ill, he finds redemption by embracing his faith and rediscovering his love for his son. Years later, Bart’s troubled childhood and mended relationship with his dad inspires him to write the hit song “I Can Only Imagine” as singer of the Christian band MercyMe.

Every song tells a story. But sometimes the story behind a given song is more dramatic than the song itself.

That’s the case with “I Can Only Imagine,” the 2001 MercyMe song that surged seemingly out of nowhere to become the biggest-selling Christian single of all time.

But “I Can Only Imagine” didn’t come from nowhere. And even though that band’s frontman, Bart Millard, scribbled out the tear-jerking tune about being with Jesus in heaven in just a few minutes one emotion-filled night, its inspiration was a lifetime in the making.

A painful lifetime.