The Apostolic Christian Men’s Sing all began back on Labor Day Weekend, 1980 in the small town of Princeville, Illinois, just a little north of Peoria. Brothers from the Princeville Apostolic Christian Church planned the first Men’s Sing by inviting 45 brothers from other Apostolic Christian churches, to record “O For A Thousand Tongues”. Then, in 1983, the Princeville church invited again and 70 Brothers recorded “Rise Up, O Men Of God”. Both recordings were made under the direction of Brother Al Hartzler of the Princeville congregation.
The Peoria congregation hosted the A.C. Men’s Sing in 1989, and over 170 Brothers participated from across the country. “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship”, directed by Brother Bob Hoerr of Peoria, was recorded and produced on cassette. Then, for a second time in 2013, “Jesus Is Worthy” was recorded under the direction of Brother Ben Luginbuhl of Bloomington, Illinois.
Bluffton, Indiana (Country)
The Bluffton, IN Congregation hosted the Men’s Sing in 1985 with Brother Al Hartzler of Princeville, Illinois directing, yielded “Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide”. Over 100 men were there for the weekend and were blessed by singing and fellowshipping.
In 1987, the Roanoke congregation invited the Brothers, and this time the number exceeded 150. “Holy, Holy, Holy” was recorded under the direction of Brother Al Hartzler of Princeville, Illinois. Then 2007, The A.C. Men’s Sing returned a second time, and “Be Still, My Soul”, directed by Brother Ben Luginbuhl of Bloomington, Illnois, was recorded and produced on CD.
The Goodfield congregation were the hosts for the singing and recording of “Come, Christians, Join to Sing” under the direction of Brother Bob Hoerr in 1991.
Wolcott, Indiana hosted the singing and recording of “Abide With Me” in 1993 with Brother Al Hartzler directing in the local High School Auditorium.
In 1995, the Morton Brethren hosted the A.C. Men’s Sing and, being directed by Brother Phil Witzig, the group recorded “Faith of Our Fathers.” This was the first recording to be produced on both Cassette and CD.
“Come Unto Me” was recorded under the direction of Brother Phil Witzig of our Morton congregation in Forrest in 1997.
Elgin, Illinois graciously hosted the singing in 1999 and the result was the recording of “Strive Aright” under the direction of Brother Larry Moore of Elgin.
The year 2001 saw the group come to Latty, Ohio for the first time to record “Rejoice, The Lord is King”, also under direction of Brother Larry Moore of Elgin, Illinios. In 2019, the group returned to record “Bless The Lord”, co-hosted by the Junction congregation, under the direction of Brother Jon Stoller of Latty.
Francesville, Indiana hosted the Men’s Singing in 2003 and the group added “From Here to Eternity”, with Brother Phil Witzig of Morton, Illinois directing, to the growing list of recordings.
Bluffton, Indiana (North)
In 2005, the A.C. Men’s Sing returned to the Bluffton, IN area, hosted this time by the brethren at Bluffton North. This recording, “We Will Glorify” was the first Men’s Group recording produced only on CD and marked the 25th anniversary of the first A.C. Men’s Sing. Brother Al Hartzler of Princeville, Illinois, graciously served again as the director for the event.
In 2009, “Christmas Joy” was recorded in Remington, Indiana. The 2009 Men’s sing was the first to use the acmensing.com website for communication and registration. Brother Wayne Klopfenstein of the Peoria, Illinois congregation directed this recording.
The brethren of the Tremont congregation hosted the 2011 Men’s Sing. With Brother Andy Sauder of Morton directing, “Singing with Christ” was recorded. The CD featured current scenes of the Mount of Olives, and Gethsemane provided by Bro. Kevin Koch.
The Washington Congregation hosted the Men’s Sing for the first time on August 29, 2015. A group of 105 brothers sang and recorded “God Leads Us Along” under the direction of Bro. Phil Witzig.
Then, in 2017, the brothers gathered together again under the gracious hosting of the Fairbury, Illinois congregation to sing and subsequently record “Shine For Jesus” under our Morton, Illinois Brother, Phil Witzig’s, direction.
Singers from Apostolic Christian Churches assembled at Leo on August 21-22, 2021. Under the direction of Ben Luginbuhl from Bloomington, Illinois, the men sang and recorded 14 songs of prayer and proclamation for the 21st biennial event.
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On behalf of the Bluffton and Bluffton North churches, I want to thank all who came to worship with us for the 2023 men’s sing. As I said that morning, I have precious memories of my father sitting in a recliner on Saturday evenings, listening to music through head phones, and pumping his fist to the joyful noise, and I like to think that our Heavenly Father rejoiced along as His children made a joyful noise. Again, thank you. To God be the glory, great things He has done.
And great things He will still do. Lord willing, the Morris and Morris North churches will host the 2025 men’s sing, scheduled tentatively for Saturday, Aug. 23. The hosts for that year will send more details later, and I’m looking forward to worshipping with you again in 2025.Chet Baumgartner, Bluffton Country.
We look forward to worshiping with you this Saturday. We also have a blessed day of fellowship prepared for the sisters who come. Like the men, they will gather at the Bluffton North church starting at 9:30 a.m., and they’ll leave at 10 a.m. for the day. They’ll eventually return to meet the men after they finish recording. Please e-mail Chet Baumgartner if you have more questions.
Also, we’ve re-posted the Saturday schedule for your convenience
Saturday, Aug. 19:
9:30 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. – Registration at the Bluffton North church. Please enter through the center front doors.
10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Welcome, announcements and warm-ups
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Practice and record
12:30 p.m. – Lunch
1:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Resume practice and recording
3:30 p.m. – Break (time could vary slightly based on recording progress)
5:30 p.m. – Supper
6:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Resume practice and recording
9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Estimated finish time
Greetings. Preparations are nearly finished for the Aug. 19 men’s sing, and we’re looking forward to more than 100 brothers uniting in worship. Each person who comes will receive a complementary book with the sheet music for that day, but because we needed to order these books this week, we might be limited in how many more people can join us that Saturday. If you’re interested in singing, please contact Chet Baumgartner directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you think you might sing in the men’s sing but haven’t registered for the Aug. 19 men’s sing, we encourage you to do that by noon tomorrow. We will soon order booklets and would like to have the most up-to-date count possible.