Dolly Parton’s collaboration with Zach Williams, “There Was Jesus,” recently garnered the country superstar a new career milestone, her first number one Christian song. The song, written by Zach Williams, Jonathan Smith, and Casey Beathard, hits the top of the “Billboard” Christian Airplay chart for the week of Sept. 12.
“Having a No. 1 record at any time is a great thing, but having a No. 1 faith-based record during these crazy times is even greater,” Parton told “Billboard”. “I feel humbled and blessed to be part of this wonderful song with Zach Williams. It does my heart good to know that we have touched the lives of so many people.”
The song is not Parton’s first entry into the faith-based music world, having released gospel songs and albums throughout her career and recently collaborating with contemporary Christian group 4 KING & COUNTRY on the song and video for the hit single “God Only Knows.” Her upcoming “Holly Dolly Christmas” album will also feature the Mark Lowry/Buddy Greene classic “Mary, Did You Know?” Parton recently told SOS Radio she hopes to do another gospel project “hopefully maybe even next year (2021).” “There Was Jesus” is Williams’ third chart-topping song, following “Chain Breaker” and “Old Church Choir.”
“She was a pleasure to work with,” Williams said of Parton after the recording. “(She is) so down to earth and humble. It’s been probably one of the highlights of my career so far.”
Watch Parton and Williams’ performance of “There Was Jesus” at the 2019 CMA Awards below.