BETHANY — The metro area will soon play host to a contemporary Christian rock band well known for several iconic songs of faith, including its crossover hit “I Can Only Imagine.”
MercyMe, which has ties to Oklahoma, will perform in concert Wednesday at Southern Nazarene University.
Guitarist Michael John Scheuchzer helped form the band in 1994 in Edmond with frontman and lead vocalist Bart Millard and keyboard player Jim Bryson. Bryson is no longer part of the group.
In a telephone interview, Scheuchzer said the group, which also includes bass player Nathan Cochran, guitarist Barry Graul and drummer Robby Shaffer, loves to visit the Oklahoma City area because it’s where they formed the band (and Scheuchzer loves Leo’s Barbecue).
“We just have a lot of fond memories of the city. We were there when the (Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building) bombing happened (in 1995),” Scheuchzer said. “My heart’s always been with Oklahoma City and it always will be, so we’re thrilled to be coming.”
As for MercyMe and the Christian rock music it’s known for, Scheuchzer said band members wanted to shake things up a bit for their recent album “Welcome to the New,” released Tuesday.
He said the album, with the first single “Shake,” represents a new season for MercyMe. Scheuchzer said songs included in the compilation reflect an emphasis on the essential message of the Gospel: that people are redeemed and renewed through Christ.
“What we were and what we are are two different things because of what Christ did at the cross,” Scheuchzer said.
IF YOU GO
the New’ concert
•Who: MercyMe with Jamie Grace and Citizen Way.
•When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.
•Where: Sawyer Center, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39 Expressway, Bethany.
•Tickets: end zone, $20; general admission, $28; reserved, $45; artist circle, $75.
•Information: 491-6321 or www.mercymeOKC.com.
•MercyMe frontman and vocalist Bart Millard, keyboard player Jim Bryson and guitarist Mike Scheuchzer formed the band in August 1994 in Edmond, where Bryson's father was a pastor at Henderson Hills Baptist Church. Drummer Robby Shaffer and bass player Nathan Cochran joined about two years later. Guitarist Barry Graul joined the group in 2003.
•MercyMe led worship at First Baptist Church in Moore for a while and also did a weekly Bible study at the University of Oklahoma, Millard said in a previous interview. After about three years in Edmond, they moved out of state, seeking a record deal.