2ndChapter

The 2nd Chapter of Acts began as a result of the trio singing at home together as Annie played the piano. Following the death of their parents in 1970, Nelly (14 yrs) and Matthew (12 yrs), still minors, moved in with their older sister, Annie, and her husband, recording engineer Buck Herring. Annie was a self taught singer and songwriter, who wrote and played her songs around the family piano. Her brother and sister would often join in as she played, and eventually, they developed extremely tight and intricate harmonies.

They started singing for local coffee houses and small gatherings, and gained the notice of Pat Boone, who arranged a contract to record and release two singles with MGM, “Jesus Is” (1972) and “I’m So Happy” (1973), which both charted secular in California radio. The fledgling trio also came to the attention of 1960s folk singer Barry McGuire (New Christy Minstrels), who had recently become a Christian and was preparing to record his first Christian music album, produced by Buck Herring. The siblings provided background vocals for Seeds and McGuire’s 1974 follow-up Lighten Up.

The trio released their debut album With Footnotes in 1974. This album featured “Easter Song”, which would become a signature piece for the group and has been recorded by many other artists since. This was followed with In the Volume of the Book in 1975, the year that also saw the release of a double live album with Barry McGuire, To the Bride, which included “a band called David”, who supported 2nd Chapter of Acts on tour.

2nd Chapter of Acts’ first three releases were issued by Myrrh Records, and the group toured with McGuire intermittently for three years.

The group went on a touring hiatus in 1976. Annie released her first solo record on the Sparrow Records label, founded that year by the executive who had signed them to the Myrrh label, Billy Ray Hearn. For the summer of 1977, they were joined on an 18-city tour by Phil Keaggy and the result was the live triple album, How the West Was One. Their contract with Myrrh fulfilled, they moved as a group to Sparrow.

Their Sparrow debut Mansion Builder (1978) was followed with The Roar of Love (a concept album inspired by C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Rejoice, Singer Sower and Together Live (with Michael and Stormie Omartian). 2nd Chapter moved to their own Live Oak label with the release of Night Light in 1985 and broadened their appeal with the release of Hymns and Hymns 2, reaching audiences with more traditional music. Hymns proved to be their best-selling release and landed them a Dove Award followed by Hymns II and Hymns Instrumental. Their final recording of original material Faraway Places was released in 1988.

Their voices can be heard among other Christian artists on 2 benefit singles produced in 1985. Do Something Now! credited to The Cause on Sparrow Records to aid famine relief in Africa and Fight the Fight, Rescue the Unborn which featured over 100 Christian artists, to benefit the Christian Pro-Life Movement, released on Live Oak. Except for two sabbatical years in 1976 and 1983, 2nd Chapter of Acts continued to tour until 1988, performing over 100 concerts per year. Their final concert was in Houston, Texas on August 12 of that year.

2nd Chapter was recognized by the Gospel Music Association in 1999 and inducted into its Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Annie and Matthew also recorded several solo projects during the 2nd Chapter of Acts years. Both have continued to release new material and perform concerts.

More information at the official website.

Selected Discography

Night Light

Sparrow Records 1985

Track: Night Light, Heartstrings, Oh No! Can’t Believe It!, He Will Rule, Consider The Lillies, He’s The Light, Oh Boy!, What To Do With My Heart, That’s Not Nice To Say & Jesus Will Be Right Back.

Musicians on the Night Light album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, Curt Bartlett, Michael Celenza, Jack Kelly, Kerry Livgren, Michael Omartian, Jimmy Owens, John Scudder, Si Simonson, Lee Sklar, Jim Tenneboe & Sherman Trivette.

Together Live

Sparrow Records 1983

Tracks: Rejoice, I Fall in Love/Change, Lightning Flash, Bread of Life, Come Holy Spirit, Easter Song, Here I Go, ‘Til the Walls Fall Down, Nobody Can Take My Life, Mainstream, See This House, Believing For The Best In You, Dr. Jesus, Praise His Name And See It Happen, Which Way The Wind Blows, Killing Thousands, Mansion Builder & Haven’t You Heard.

Musicians on the Together Live Album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Michael Omartian, Stormie Omartian, Matthew Ward, Jack Kelly, Herb Melton, Greg Springer & Peter York.

Singer Sower

Sparrow Records 1983

Tracks: Room Noise, Beware My Heart, Ocean Liner, Takin’ the Easy Way, No One Will Have a Secret, Spin Your Light, Open Up My Blind Eyes, I’m Wastin’ No More Time & Lift Me Up.

Musicians on the Singer Sower album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, Dean Harrington, Jack Kelly, Kerry Livgren, Michael Omartian, John Scudder, Si Simonson & Lee Sklar.

Rejoice

Sparrow Records 1981

Tracks: Rejoice, Bread Of Life, Nobody Can Take My Life, Here I Go, Rise Up And Take A Bow, I’ve Got A Break In My Heart, Don’t Understand It, He’s My Source, Heaven Came To Earth, Will You Remember Me, Mountain Tops & Bread Of Life (Reprise).

Musicians on the Rejoice album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, Jack Kelly, David Kemper, Kerry Livgren, Herb Melton, Greg Springer & Peter York.

The Roar Of Love

Sparrow Records 1980

Tracks: Are You Goin’ To Narnia, Lucy’s Long Gone, Tell The Truth, Turkish Delight, Son Of Adam Daughter Of Eve, Christmas Where Are You, Gifts From Father Christmas, Aslan Is Killed, The Roar Of Love, I’ve Heard The Stars Sing Before, He’s Broken Thru, Witch’s Demise/Get It into Your Head, Something Is Happening In Me & White Stag.

Musician on the Roar Of Love Album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, Alex Cima, Jay Graydon, Phil Keaggy, David Kemper, Michael Omartian & Lee Sklar.

Mansion Builder

Sparrow Records 1978

Tracks: Rod And Staff, Mansion Builder, Ps. 93, Gold In The Clouds, I’ll Give My Life Away, Rainbow, Well Haven’t You Heard, Lightning Flash, Starlight Starbright, Make My Life A Prayer To You & Daydreamer.

Musicians on the Mansion Builder album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, Jay Graydon, Gene Gunnels, Abraham Laboriel, Bill Maxwell, Herb Melton, Michael Omartian, Richard Souther & Peter York.

How The West Was One

Sparrow Records 1977

Tracks: Hey Watcha’ Say, Keep On Shinin’, I Fall In Love/Change, Now That I Belong To You, What A Day, Love Broke Thru, Take Me Closer, My Life, Another Try, Rejoice, Just The Same, Hallelujah, Time, Easter Song, Dance With You, Which Way The Wind Blows, Something Tells Me, Yahweeh, PS 61, Grinding Stone, Receive & Morning Comes When You Call/Son Comes Over The Hill.

Musicians on the How The West Was One album: Nelly Greisen, Annie Herring, Phil Keaggy, Matthew Ward, Gene Gunnels, Herb Melton, Richard Souther & Peter York.

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