Nelly Greisen

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Nelly (Ward) Greisen (born December 11, 1955) is a fomer member of the Jesus music and contemporary Christian music trio 2nd Chapter of Acts.[1] She joined her older sister, Annie Herring, and younger brother, Matthew Ward, to form the group which began singing together in 1970 and disbanded in 1988. Greisen then turned her attention to being a full-time mother to her two sons, and to supporting her husband, Steve Greisen, in his film business.[2]

Early years[edit]

Nelly was born in North Dakota, the eighth of nine children born to Walter and Kathrine “Elizabeth” Ward.[3] Because of her mother’s deteriorating health, Nelly's family moved to Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento, California, when she was 7, to be closer to relatives and to obtain better medical care for her mother. Her mother died in 1968 as the result of an operation on a benign brain tumor. Her father died in 1970 of leukemia.[3] Nelly was then 14 years old.

When she was orphaned, Nelly and her younger brother, 12-year-old Matthew, went to live with their older sister, Annie Herring, and her new husband, disc jockey and audio engineer Buck Herring. Buck and Annie had been praying for her younger siblings for quite a while, so for the two children to come live with the couple was “a foregone conclusion."[4] There was some conflict as the two families tried to merge.[4]

Career years[edit]

Soon after Nelly and Matthew came to live with the Herrings, the three siblings began singing together. Annie usually sang lead, Matthew harmonized, and Nelly's rich alto voice found the missing notes between the two. Although she rarely sang lead, Greisen's harmonies tended to be more complicated than her brother’s. From time to time, Nelly would also add to the lyrics of the songs that Annie wrote. The three continued in these roles throughout their career as a music group, although they each also took a turn at singing lead during concerts. Some of the group’s best loved songs, including"Something Tells Me", “Mountain Tops”, "Which Way The Wind Blows", “Make My Life a Prayer to You”, "Sing Over Me", "Takin The Easy Way", "My Jesus I Love Thee" were performed with Greisen singing lead. Nelly was also featured as a background singer on dozens of recordings during the '70,'80 and '90's.

One of Greisen's special roles in the group was to speak out during a concert when she sensed that the Lord was healing a certain type of illness, or that He was touching people in a certain way. Sometimes people would approach her after a concert and tell her that the Lord had healed them. Sometimes no one would testify to the fact that they had been healed, although they might tell her about it years after their healing.[3]

Personal life[edit]

In the summer of 1975, she met Steve Greisen, a young singer whose band had been touring Europe for a number of years. They started dating and later Steve's band "The Family" along with 2nd Chapter of Acts joined the Jesus Music musical "If My People" that toured the country in 1976. They were married in 1978.[4] Later, two sons, Andrew and Jesse, were born to the Greisens. They moved from California to Texas in 1981, and later to Monument, Colorado in 1993.[2]

Nelly has never embarked on a solo musical career. Instead, she supports her husband's film production ( and film distribution business Exploration Films ( They currently live in the mountains of Colorado. Nelly remains active on boards of non-profit organizations, volunteering, pursuing her new love of oil painting, loves scuba diving and fitness and of course connecting with her adult sons who live nearby and occasionally singing locally.[4]


  1. ^ ''Encyclopedia of American gospel music'' By W. K. McNeil. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  2. ^ a b Rewind: Second Chapter of Acts
  3. ^ a b c Ward, Matthew (2006). My 2nd Chapter: The Matthew Ward Story. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press. ISBN 1-4000-7080-5. 
  4. ^ a b c d ""The Frame Never Outdid the Picture: The 2nd Chapter of Acts Story" by 2nd Chapter of Acts". Retrieved 2011-12-25.