Bart Millard of MercyMe Talks 'I Can Only Imagine' Success

A box office hit opened this past weekend and Lizz Ryals had a chance to talk to the man behind the lens. 

I Can Only Imagine is based off the book written by Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe, which follows his life and his relationship with his father, who was abusive, and how he coped with the relationship.

When Millard was younger, he remembers the pain from the lashings. "He beat me like a dog on a leash," he said about his father. He would endure weekly beatings, whether from a razor strap or a wooden spoon, and at times he thought his father was going to kill him.

After losing the possibility of a future athletic career, Millard turned to music to express his pain and faith. In doing so, his band became a musical success. The song "I Can Only Imagine" was written about his relationship with his father. 

Now, 15 years later, he's putting his story on paper and on the big screen. I Can Only Imagine shows how faith helped Millard finally find peace with his father shortly before his death.