“It has shown such strong progress on the charts; that’s why we added it,” said Catey Hill, music director for WJBR 99.5-FM in Wilmington, Del. “When we think a song has potential to really make a strong showing and not fall off the charts right away, that’s when we add it.”

Hill said it’s the first time in her 16 years at the station that they have added a song with such a blatantly Christian message.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the way the world is now, and I think people are trying to find their spirituality,” Hill said. “People got away from that for a while. Then 9/11 happened and people got more in touch with their spiritual side.”

Current research shows the song may indeed find its way up the national charts. Research done by Critical Mass placed “Imagine” as the No. 4 “most impactful song among females” and the No. 1 most “net positive record” on all Clear Channel stations. Sales of "Almost There" are also picking up. The album has picked up “a minimum of 50 percent, in some cases as high as 300 percent” in markets where it is receiving mainstream airplay, Moseley said.

“What started out as a Southeastern phenomenon is starting to break on a national basis,” Moseley said. “It is probably one of the most impactful songs I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with ‘Awesome God’ and ‘Butterfly Kisses.’ I just really can’t wait to see what happens when this gets heard on an even broader basis.”

“I think some stations play it once just to try to prove that it doesn’t belong there,” Millard said. “Then it takes off. We are now hearing from mainstream deejays who are thanking us because they said they can sleep better at night knowing they are playing something positive.”

Now Millard and the rest of the band are waiting to see where God takes them next.

“Unless somebody has a vendetta against God, the song is not a threat,” Millard said. “It just makes you ask a lot of questions like ‘What’s next?’ and ‘What if this really is real?’ We want to assure people that we think it is. We are treating this like our mission field, and we hope that our fans will support us by praying that we will maintain the message and make a difference for the kingdom.”


To help support “I Can Only Imagine” at mainstream radio, visit the band’s Web site at www.mercymelive.com. For more of today’s top worship songs, go to www.songs4worship.com.