The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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September 24, 2013

MercyMe to appear Friday at Enid Event Center

ENID, Okla. — A music group that got its start in 1994 in Edmond is returning to Oklahoma.

MercyMe, a group that plays Christian rock, will perform Friday at Enid Event Center.

The group has performed in Enid before, but it’s been so long — the late-90s, band member Mike Scheuchzer estimates — that it’s difficult to remember exactly when that was.

Nevertheless, when the opportunity popped up to come back to Enid, the band took it.

“It was natural to say yes,” Scheuchzer said. “We started the band down the road in Edmond, Oklahoma. It’s always good to come back to central Oklahoma; we love it.”

Most people might know MercyMe from its single, “I Can Only Imagine.” Scheuchzer said it was a song written about a situation band member Bart Millard was going through, when his father died of cancer. The song came about after Millard wondered what his dad was experiencing in heaven.

Scheuchzer said the group didn’t expect the song to become popular like it did.

“That song ended up connecting with millions of people, because it’s something we literally all face,” he said. “Whether you call yourself a Christian or not, whether you’re a Satanist or a believer, everyone has that question: ‘What happens when we die?’”

“I Can Only Imagine” was part of the album “Almost There,” which was released in 2001.

Several albums later, MercyMe still is releasing music mostly centered on worship. The temptation to go mainstream has been there, Scheuchzer said, but it’s never come to fruition.

“We’ve had some mainstream success years ago with a song that was blatantly Christian,” he said, referring to “I Can Only Imagine.” “There was a temptation to follow that up with songs that fit in with the mainstream category more easily.

“But it just wasn’t natural for us. We worked hard to make it happen, and it just didn’t feel right.”

Having released its most recent album, “The Hurt & The Healer,” in May 2012, MercyMe soon will be heading back into the studio to work on music for a new album, which may be finished next year.

“Our record label wants a handful of songs done by December,” Scheuchzer said.

Showtime for MercyMe and special guest Sean Gallagher is 7 p.m. Friday at the Event Center, located in downtown Enid.

Floor tickets are $50. Tickets for lower-level bowl are $35 per person or $30 each for groups; upper bowl tickets are $20 and $15, respectively.

For information or tickets, go to EnidEventCenter.com, or call (855) TIX-ENID.

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