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.