2nd Chapter of Acts

28 Aug

The 2nd Chapter of Acts was a ground floor pioneer Jesus music group, whose tantalizingly beautiful three-part harmonies complemented their biblically based lyrics. The first time that I saw them perform was at a Sunday evening service in the Spring of 1973 at Rev. Don Pickerill’s church, Christian Assembly Foursquare, which at that time was in the Lincoln Heights district of the Los Angeles inner city. The trio was made up of elder married sister Annie Herring and her two siblings, Matthew and Nellie Ward. Annie came out first playing the piano and singing a couple of songs, solo. Then she invited Matthew and Nellie to join her, as she told the crowd that this was one of the first times that they were performing in public. I was witnessing history and didn’t even realize it.

A few months later, they ministered at a Sunday evening service at the Highland Park Neighborhood Foursquare church in Northeast Los Angeles, where I took the posted photograph of them. By this time they had been in the studio and produced some recordings. They released a 45 rpm single titled β€œI’m So Happy,” which was getting airplay on secular radio stations. Buck Herring, Annie’s husband, was a recording engineer and produced their music, as well as accompanying them to concerts. Through the 1970s I saw them a dozen times in a variety of venues.

They toured with one of the first converts from the 1960s hippie counter culture, Barry McGuire, whose initial Christian rock album was produced by Buck Herring, with the 2nd Chapter of Acts as his backup singers. Their incredibly cohesive harmonizing, along with phenomenal songwriting, produced one of the most legendary Christian music groups of the entire 1970s. Proof of this may be found in the fact that Bob Dylan, after he became a born again Christian wanted to include them in his born again Christian tour in 1978. However, they declined.

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