Episode #328 — 7 years. It just doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. We’ve shared 7 years together on the air, On the Road.

This is our final edition of Faith Radio’s On the Road, and we wanted to offer the warmest thanks for sharing these stories of faith transforming the way we live each week. And – really – how else would we do that but by highlighting some of the stories we just couldn’t forget?

To skip ahead & hear the full conversation right now, scroll down to the player at the bottom of this post. Here’s an introduction to who’ll be joining us on this special, farewell edition.

Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave has spent so much of his life and career encouraging and lifting up others. But he shared a stunning truth. For much of that life, he’s battled profound self hatred. He took us back to a night in his Tennessee garage, and how God broke down the walls Mike had constructed.

“He took a wrecking ball to this huge wall of self hatred that I’d built. Because I never doubted that God loved me. It’s that I couldn’t love me.” – Mike Weaver

Barry Zito is a former star pitcher in Major League Baseball. After a phenomenal run with the Oakland Athletics, Barry signed a 126 million dollar contract with the San Francisco Giants. But then the results on the field started to go against him, and he found himself miserable in a way he’d never known. Barry shared the hope-filled story of how his wife handed him a Bible and began a journey of discovery that would change everything.

“With Jesus, it was different. It was the first time I felt approved of, and loved, and validated, and all those things I searched for in the world – but without actually earning them. Without working for them. Without having to perform for them. That was the change. So I learned about grace. I learned about what it meant to have something that I actually don’t deserve.” – Barry Zito 

Michael W Smith is one of the central figures in CCM history – crafting unforgettable anthems for decades. But a journey like his is anything but a solo act, and Michael shared about the two people that gave him a phenomenal foundation to anchor his dreams – his mom and dad.

“My dad was my biggest fan and PR agent. He would tell everybody how great I was all the time, which was embarrassing growing up. But my dad thought I hung the moon. I think that just instilled inside me so much faith and so much belief – ‘Maybe I really do have something?'” – Michael W Smith

Amy Grant was only a teenager when she embarked on a career that would see her become one of the bestselling & most influential artists in CCM. Part of that journey was developing a musical partnership and great friendship that would shape the genre with Michael W Smith. Amy took us back to the first time she met Michael in a music publishing house just a few blocks from her college in Nashville.

“I wanted to stay in that room with that keyboard and that musician for as long as I could. That’s how I felt. This is a circle I want to be a part of for the rest of my life.” – Amy Grant

Luke Smallbone is the younger half of the tremendously talented sibling duo for KING & COUNTRY. In the midst of their meteoric success over the last decade, Luke faced a stunning battle with illness. He detailed what that was like & how God shared a message with him in that season that transformed the way he looked at so much.

“And I felt God say these things, ‘Luke. I don’t need more effort from you. I don’t need your striving. I don’t need your talents. I don’t need you to do any more shows for me. I don’t need you to write any more songs. I just want your heart. I just want you. I don’t need anything else.” – Luke Smallbone

Joel Smallbone is the elder brother of the same Australian phenomenon. When you see the success that the lads have had at seemingly everything they’ve tried, it’s truly remarkable to realize that when their family first came to America, they faced such severe financial hardships that they nearly became homeless. Joel explains how that season knit their family together in an unbreakable way.

“Doing that as youngsters, and having kind of this family thing that we all owned together – I think it knit us together in such a special way. So now, in a lot of ways, I think we’re bearing the fruit of that great journey. And it’s such a special thing. I’ve got to be honest with you.” – Joel Smallbone

Bart Millard is one of the most beloved voices on radios today. The MercyMe front man told us the epic and hilarious tale of the night at church camp when the tech guy running the slide projector became the lead singer of the worship band – and MercyMe was born.

“I was the guy that came out of nowhere, ‘Hey! I can sing it! I can do it!’ ‘Wait. What?! You’re the tech guy!'” – Bart Millard

Chris Llewellyn is the lead singer of the groundbreaking band Rend Collective. He offers some truth that might be surprising in light of the joy that radiates from each of their tracks. As he tells it, the talented folks that make up the group are actually quite naturally grumpy! Chris explained why that reality has made them gravitate toward a message of joy so consistently.

“As Christians, we can have this defiant joy that arrives even in our hardest seasons.” – Chris Llewellyn

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A Very Fond Farewell