MercyMe's Bart Millard speaks of mom's passing, says they made amends over abusive childhood

Bart Millard and his mother on the red carpet of the "I Can Only Imagine," premier in Dallas, Texas, March 14, 2018. | (Photo: Instagram/Bart Millard)

Bart Millard's mother, Adele Millard, passed away last week, four years after the MercyMe frontman made peace with her over his difficult childhood after she left him with his abusive father. 

Millard announced his mother's death on social media last week, just days after his iconic Christian band, who is behind the hit song and film “I Can Only Imagine,” announced their upcoming tour.

“My sweet mom went to be with Jesus this morning around 5:30am,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of himself and his mom. 

Millard and his brother, Stephen, were by their mother's side in her final moments.

“Thankful my brother and I were with her,” he continued. 

“Even more thankful she’s now with so many that have been cheering her on from Heaven,” the singer added. “She’s now a bigger part of my future than of my past.”

Millard ended his emotional post with the declaration, “I love you mom.”

In 2018, the singer/songwriter put his personal life on display when the autobiographical film “I Can Only Imagine” hit the silver screen. Named after MercyMe’s crossover single, the film brought in $17.1 million domestically during its opening weekend, and over $83 million in total, superseding all expectations. 

Millard once described his father as a monster because of the harsh physical and verbal abuse he endured as a child. In the movie, Adele Millard is shown leaving her young son behind with his father out of fear for her own life. 

After the movie was made, Millard penned a book that shared his life events in greater detail. In it, the singer said that although the film is very close to what happened, the timeline diverges from actual events.

The musician lived with his mother up until the third grade before she chose to move away with her third husband and leave her sons to stay with their father, Arthur. 

In a past interview with The Christian Post, the Texas native opened up about his mother’s reaction to her portrayal in the film. 

"My mom is a very huge part of my life now and when I was watching the movie I was really scared because I didn't really realize how much of a victim she really was. She feared for her life and she had to get out," he told CP.

Millard explained that the first draft of the script was a bit harsh concerning his mother because when he initially spoke about what happened in his childhood, he shared it from a child's point of view. He made some revisions to the script to make it more accurate.

"I was nervous. I thought, 'This is gonna kill my mom when she sees this.' It was hard to let go and actually let the story play out," Millard revealed.

Millard said he sat with his mom alone and watched the film as they both had tears in their eyes.

"She just kept saying, 'Yeah, that's how it happened, that's right,'" the MercyMe frontman illustrated. "She actually loved the movie. She told me, 'I'm heartbroken that I wasn't a bigger part of it, but that's what happened. I was so scared for my life and I'm so glad that we have each other now.'"

Along with making amends with her son, Adele Millard also reconnected with his father after the father changed. The two had a great friendship before his death.

"She was there when he died, so she knows the man that he became too," Millard testified.

“I Can Only Imagine” is a story of redemption, as Millard’s father would go on to become his biggest hero before dying. Millard's relationship with his mother was also restored before her death.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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