Before MercyMe became a prominent name across the country, lead singer Bart Millard was a youth ministry intern in Florida. His grandmother would always call to check up on him, and was always disappointed when Bart picked up the phone. She blatantly voiced her disapproval by saying, “Well, mercy me, why don’t you get a real job?” Little did she know, Bart’s grandmother’s words would play rather prominently into Bart’s future career and become his band namesake.

Getting his start in music by taking choir as an elective when his football dreams didn’t pan out, Bart started working with his youth group’s worship band behind the scenes, mostly doing video and sound. God opened a door for Bart one day when the youth group’s lead singer didn’t fare so well on stage, and Bart stepped in and aced his audition.

The gig ended up going so well that Bart, along with MercyMe’s future pianist Jim Bryson, eventually traveled to Switzerland to play a worship gig. It was during that particular trip that Bart and Jim seriously considered pursuing music full-time.

So Bart, along with his pal, Mike Scheuchzer, who plays guitar, moved to Oklahoma City to form what would end up being MercyMe.

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