What Really Happened to MerciMeWhat Really Happened to MerciMe

MercyMe is a well-known American group that started in Edmond, Oklahoma, and plays modern Christian music. 

Even in the midst of trouble and death, they continued with their mission. And They also faced many controversies & accusations in their career, let’s take a deep dive into what really happened to them.

Early Beginnings and Achievements

The group got together in 1994. The name of the band came from Bart’s grandmother when he was an intern in youth ministry at a church in Florida. She was worried that he was always home when she called, so she said

“Well, mercy me! Get a real job!” Bart says, “Now we have a name which reminds us that we’ll need to obtain real jobs someday.”

Before the band got together in 1994, Bart Millard’s father died of cancer in his first year of college. Millard moved to Lakeland, Florida, at the end of his youth pastor. He wanted to start over, so he quickly got involved in going to lead a local praise group. 

After becoming friends with keyboardist Jim Bryson in the spring of 1994, the two went to Europe as part of an applause team and started taking ministry and their music careers more seriously. Later, they met Michael John Scheuchzer, a guitarist, who joined them. 

By the end of that year, Millard, Bryson, and guitarist Mike Scheuchzer had moved to Oklahoma City and formed the official group MercyMe for real at the Henderson Hills Baptist Church. After a short time in Nashville in 1997, the group settled in Dallas, Texas. Bassist Nathan Cochran and drummer Robby Shaffer joined the team, which was now playing over 200 shows a year.

In an old, empty daycare center, the three set up a studio as well as a “living area.” Later, bassist Nathan Cochran & drummer Robby Shaffer joined the band. They helped the band put out six independent albums before they signed with INO Records in 2001. Unlike their first three albums on a major label, their earlier independent projects had more rock beats.

Barry Graul, a guitarist who used to play with the Christian hard rock band Whitecross, joined MercyMe in 2003. This gave MercyMe a second guitarist, which gave their third studio album, Undone, more depth. This album won the Dove award for Contemporary album of the year.

In 2004, the band was the headlining act on the “Imagine Tour” with Amy Grant and Bebo Norman. In addition to headlining the “Imagine Tour,” MercyMe released their third big label album, Undone, which reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Christian Albums charts. This was their highest debut on a chart up to that point. 

The album gave rise to three successful singles: “Here With Me,” which reached No. 1 on the Christian Songs chart, No. 12 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and No. 38 on the Adult Top 40 chart; “Homesick,” which attained No. 3 on the Christian Songs chart and No. 9 on the Adult Contemporary charts; and “In the Blink of an Eye” (which topped the Christian Songs chart). 

The album on its own won a Dove Award at the 36th GMA Dove Awards for Rock Album of the Year and it was certified gold by the RIAA.

In 2004, MercyMe also came out with a live video album called MercyMe Live. This album went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA.

All That Is Within Me came out on November 20, 2007. Millard, the band’s lead singer, thought that All That is Within Me was headed to be a worship album with 50 percent of the songs being covers and the other half being originals. However, when the band got into the studio, they ended up recording all the original songs. 

In 2008, the band put out an acoustic version of their previous album, Coming Up to Breathe, called Coming Up to Breathe: Acoustic.

Read Also: What Really Happened to Casting Crowns?

The group first became known to a wide audience with the crossover single “I Can Only Imagine,” which helped their debut album, Almost There, be certified triple platinum. It also got the Dove award for 2002 song of the year. Since then, the group has put out eight more studio albums, six of which are certified gold, and a greatest hits album, 10.

The group has also had 13 straight top 5 singles on the Billboard Christian Songs chart, with 7 of them reaching No. 1.

MercyMe has won eight Dove Awards and has been nominated for many Grammy Awards. Welcome to the New was the band’s eighth studio album, which came out on April 8, 2014. Lifer, their 9th studio album, came out on March 31, 2017. Inhale (Exhale), their tenth studio album came out on April 30, 2021.

Almost Quitting the Band

Lead singer Bart Millard almost quit the band after releasing their album “The Hurt & The Healer”.

After ‘The Hurt & The Healer,’ we kind of hit a wall. I grew up in a slightly legalistic church and it taught me that faith is enough, but here are three more things left just in case. There are always things left to do to be closer to God” he told GuidePost.

Millard struggled to do good so he would not face the wrath of God but he felt like he had been losing a battle against sin. He vowed to himself that he would try even harder and fight for change.

But everything changed when a new friend of his came back into his life and told the band, “Hey, you guys work hard enough already. There’s nothing you can do to make Christ love you more than He already does. So just stop and rest in the finished work of the cross.”

Hearing this really hit Millard hard, as he had always been taught to believe that no matter how hard he tried, there would always be something left undone to please his deity. “It took a couple of years to understand what that meant and I really thought, at that time, that MercyMe was coming to an end. I thought that’s what I was supposed to do,” he shared.

But Millard & his wife decided to focus more on their fellowship with Christ instead of getting caught up in things like radio comments or labels. They even helped the band by cutting their shows in half and changing their approach to their music.

Controversies and allegations

A member of MercyMe received complaints after posting to Facebook in 2014, praising Bruno Mars’ performance in the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

And after so many backlashes, they decided to post a response to Facebook that stated, “Seriously I love you guys. I really do, but you’ve got to find a bigger cross to die on. If me saying Bruno’s performance was awesome can instantly tear down my 20 years of ministry, then I’ve been doing something terribly wrong!“…” I’m a huge fan of music regardless of whether Bruno misuses it or not. I’m a huge fan of sex, so is my wife…so is God by the way, regardless if the world abuses it.”

But still, the comment section was divided into two different opinions…

Other users have praised this and some people feel they can’t post this.

Like Mary who said: “God bless you and your ministry. Bruno was the best and cleanest halftime in years! That opinion doesn’t take away from my relationship with my Savior. You speak Truth. It’s a shame people are just looking for a reason to point a finger. Love you guys!“ and Julie said: “Unfortunately being a fan of music and sex doesn’t mean that we should listen to music that has perverted what God intended to be beautiful within marriage.“

Read Also: What is going on with Crowder

And another backlash came after the release of the movie.

MercyMe frontman Bart Millard’s older brother accused him of exaggerating his father’s beatings in the film “I Can Only Imagine.

The Millards’ father in the book and movie, was portrayed as once whipping his younger son so savagely with a razor strap and paddle that the boy thought he was going to die. Bart eventually reconciled with his dad, holding his father’s hand when he died of cancer in 1991.

There was a huge reaction to Bart Millard when his movie did well at the box office. People in Hollywood & Christians really took notice and cheered him on. But Millard’s only sibling wasn’t happy.

Instead, Stephen Millard lashed out at his younger brother, accusing him of exaggerating the abuse they suffered from their father to sell more tickets.

“It ripped my heart out,” he added. “It destroyed me.”

His mom was in tears when she said the movie was accurate. His brother said the movie was hard to watch but switched subjects quickly.

They stayed months without talking and Bart said: “My brother is my absolute hero, The one place I thought I’d never had an issue is with my brother, who always had my back.”

“To know it hurt him deeply was devastating to me.”

But during thanksgiving with the family, they had the chance to talk on the phone.

Bart’s brother was initially opposed to the idea, but then things started to change.

After some small talk, they talked about their dad and their childhoods.

“It all started coming out,” Bart Millard said. “And it was beautiful.”

“The tension I have with my brother now is probably the healthiest thing that has happened in our lives.”


MercyMe is a very famous band that is loved by millions of people. The leader of MercyMe Millard struggled hard to reach the top and made its way to the hearts of its fans. All the members of the bands proved their skill by working together. They have released everlasting albums and won many awards.

Because of hard work, perseverance, struggles, and faith, MercyMe won many Dove awards and uncountable nominations. Still, they’re thriving for more grace.

Let us know in the comment section what you think about MercyMe?