The 2nd Chapter of Acts was a Jesus Music and an early Contemporary Christian Music group composed of sisters Annie Herring and Nelly Greisen and brother Matthew Ward. They began performing in 1973 and enjoyed their period of greatest success during the 1970s. The group disbanded in 1988.
As they gradually started singing for local coffee houses and small gatherings, they eventually 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). The fledgling trio also came to the attention of 1960s folk singer Barry McGuire, 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 up with In the Volume of the Book in 1975, the year that also saw the release of a live album with Barry McGuire, To the Bride. Also named on the album were the musicians touring with the 2nd Chapter of Acts, "a band called David". These albums were issued by Myrrh Records. 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 up 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 their final recording of original material, Faraway Places.
2nd Chapter of Acts 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.
Except for a couple of sabbatical years in 1976 & 1983, 2nd Chapter of Acts continued to tour until 1988. Their final concert was in Houston, Texas on August 12 of that year.
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 as of 2006.
Annie and Matthew sang many of the solo parts. Nelly, whose voice was richer and thicker in texture, did less of the solo work but the songs that she sang generally became favorites like "Now That I Belong To You", "Make My Life A Prayer To You", "Mountain Tops", and "My Jesus I Love Thee" among others. Her voice was considered the 'glue' to the 2nd Chapter of Acts sound and her parts were generally the most difficult to sing.