Top 10 Christian Songs
While not every successful country singer releases Christian songs, those who've ignored Christian values haven't gotten very far. Some, like Josh Turner and Randy Travis, are able to weave their faith into the music a little more comfortably than others. Country listeners know when a performance lacks sincerity, and more than a few songs have been written that were swatted away like a mosquito. When done right, nothing sticks to one's soul stronger than a song that inspires.
It wasn't easy, but we whittled down every country song written about God and Christian values to a list of 10 of our favorites. Our criteria included not only song quality and impact; radio success was also a factor. These 10 Christian songs can all be still heard on country radio stations across America today. Chances are one has caused you tear up. The Top 10 Christian Songs are capable of making us better human beings.
'Me and God'
Josh Turner is the only artist to make this list of the Top 10 Christian Songs twice. 'Me and God, featuring Ralph Stanley, is a fun look at how friendly one's relationship with the Big Man can be. Stanley's weathered voice forces one to do a double take at the stereo every time. Turner has won numerous Dove Awards for his inspirational music, and is never shy about discussing his family's strong faith.
'Holes in the Floor of Heaven'
Some of the best Christian songs in country music lead families through tragedy. Steve Wariner's 1998 hit would bring a stone to tears. Anyone who's ever lost a spouse, parent or child can relate to this hopeful song about what awaits us all after we pass. 'Holes in the Floor of Heaven' is a popular funeral song, even 13 years later.
'When I Get Where I'm Going'
This award-winning No. 1 hit for Brad Paisley was brought to life by his selfless invitation to Dolly Parton. Parton provides the angel wings that this song rides upon. Paisley often includes Christian themed songs on his albums, but this is the only one that's ever been released as a single. 'When I Get Where I'm Going' was an easy choice for this Top 10 Christian Songs list.
'Jesus Take the Wheel'
This is the song that launched Carrie Underwood's country career, as there was a lukewarm response to 'Inside Your Heaven' on non-pop stations. CMT recently named 'Jesus Take the Wheel' as the fourth best song of the decade. Underwood has since proven herself to be a very strong Christian capable of carrying a song of faith, but she has only offered one other Christian song, 2009's'Temporary Home,' as a single.
'Angels Among Us'
This song was originally released as a Christmas single in 1993, but the overwhelming response makes it possible to hear it at any time of year. Alabama's Randy Owen says it's one fans ask him about most often. One could argue it's a precursor to Underwood's 'Jesus Take the Wheel.' Both Christian songs are about letting God take over in troubled times.
'Go Rest High on That Mountain'
There is not a more popular song for funerals than Vince Gill's somber yet uplifting afterlife ballad. Gill's vocal performance is extraordinary on 'Go Rest High on That Mountain.' His patience on this over five-minute ballad pays off in a big way. Gill began writing this song after Keith Whitley's death in 1989, but didn't finish it until the death of his brother four years later. It makes out list of the all-time Top 10 Christian Songs, but surprisingly, it was only a Top 20 single for Gill in 1995.
'Three Wooden Crosses'
'Three Wooden Crosses' is the ultimate redemption story, and Randy Travis is the perfect person to tell it as he has his own story to rely on for inspiration. The hook at the end of the song takes your breath away. There's no doubt this Christian song changed lives when it was released in 2003, and continues to inspire listeners today.
'The Little Girl'
This No. 1 hit for John Michael Montgomery still surprises fans who may have missed the message when it was released in 2000. Jesus comes down from the cross to protect the little girl from her parents' abuse and violence. Years later, when she is with a family who loves her, she becomes aware of the miracle. The song works as an inspirational Christian song, but it's also capable of touching those of other faiths. It's just a dang good story.
'Long Black Train'
The debut single from Josh Turner makes our list of the Top 10 Christian Songs and sets the tone for a career that would rack up Dove Awards faster than dollars in the offering dish. Some may remember this song's controversial video, which had some parental groups arguing that it encouraged suicide. That all seems silly now. To be honest, it did then, too. Turner's metaphor for temptation is sharp and effective. He has never used his music as a conversion club.
The song that lands at No. 1 on our list of the Top 10 Christian Songs has it all: a great story, an inspirational message and a brilliant vocal performance. Ronnie Dunn builds up the final chorus like a movie director working toward a film's climax; it's a goosebump moment at live shows. Dunn hadn't written or performed a great Christian song prior to (or after) this 2005 hit. It's as if he spent himself on this one song.