Ray Boltz is an American Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter who was virtually unknown when he wrote this tale about how one is rewarded in Heaven for good works accomplished on Earth. The song's success bought him to national attention.
Boltz recalled to CCM Magazine Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music that this number came about when someone in his church asked him to write a song for Pastor Appreciation Day. He explained: "I said I would try, and thought I had plenty of time - eight weeks. Well, the time flew by and I was just not having any success. Finally the night before pastor Appreciation Day, I was sitting at my piano trying to write something. As I sat there, I began to think about the people who have had the greatest impact on my life and realized that none of them were famous. They were people like Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, neighbors, and in that list I included my pastor, Eldon Morehouse. I decided to write a song that honored all of them, and I performed 'Thank You' the next morning in church."
This song was originally earmarked for the Gaither Vocal Band. However Boltz changed his mind and decided to record it himself. One time GVB member Michael English told CCM: "We were looking for songs, and this song was pitched to us. (Fellow GVB member) Gary McSpadden was so excited about it. And we're getting ready to cut it and next thing we know, somebody comes over to us and says, 'Ray Boltz is gonna try and do an artist thing. I think he wants to keep that one.' And I'm sure he's glad he did!"
This won the 1990 Song of the Year prize at the Gospel Music Association's Dove awards.
In 1997 this song was performed at Mother Teresa's funeral.