History of the Apostolic Christian Men’s Sing
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. Bro. Al Hartzler and a Men’s Group from the Princeville Apostolic Christian Church planned the first A Cappella Men’s Sing by inviting 45 brothers from other Apostolic Christian churches, mostly in Illinois, to record their first record (which was later made into cassette). Brothers from previous or existing Quartets, Octets, and small Men’s Groups were invited. The first recording was entitled “O For A Thousand Tongues”. At the time, there was little thought given to repeating the event.
For a few years following the event, several brothers indicated their interest in repeating the event due to the blessing received from the singing and the subsequent recording. Thus in 1983, the Princeville brothers had the second A.C. Men’s Sing in Princeville again, this time inviting more brothers from Indiana, Ohio, and other states. Approximately 70 Brothers attended. Again, the weekend was a blessed event and “Rise Up, O Men Of God”, was recorded and produced on both record and cassette. At the conclusion of the weekend, several brothers thought it would be good to repeat the experience every 2 years.
The Bluffton, IN Congregation extended the invite for the A.C. Men’s Sing in 1985. This was the first year the group exceeded 100 Brothers and “Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide” was recorded and produced only on cassette, as records were starting to go away. In 1987, the Roanoke congregation invited the brothers again, and this time the number exceeded 150. “Holy, Holy, Holy” was recorded and again produced only on cassette. 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” was recorded and produced on cassette. Goodfield hosted the singing and recording of “Come, Christians, Join to Sing” in 1991 and Remington and Wolcott hosted the singing and recording of “Abide With Me” in 1993 in the local High School Auditorium.
In 1995, the Morton Brethren hosted the A.C. Men’s Sing and the group recorded “Faith of Our Fathers.” This was the first recording to be produced on both Cassette and CD. Subsequent recordings on both Cassette and CD were “Come Unto Me” in Forrest in 1997, “Strive Aright” in Elgin, IL in 1999, “Rejoice, The Lord is King” in Latty, OH in 2001, and “From Here to Eternity” in Francesville, IN in 2003.
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. In 2007, The A.C. Men’s Sing returned to Roanoke for a second time, and “Be Still, My Soul” was recorded and produced on CD.
In 2009, “Christmas Joy” was recorded in Remington, IN. The 2009 Men’s sing was the first to use the acmensing.com website for communication and registration.
The brothers of the Tremont congregation hosted the 2011 Men’s Sing. “Singing with Christ” was recorded, and the CD featured current scenes of the Mount of Olives, and Gethsemane provided by Bro. Kevin Koch.
The Men’s Sing returned to Peoria, IL for a second time in 2013, and “Jesus Is Worthy” was recorded under the direction of Bro. Ben Luginbuhl. Around 30 brothers had the opportunity to minister in song at the Peoria County Jail Sunday morning services. The program Sunday afternoon capped off a truly Spirit filled weekend, with many visiting congregations represented, as well as friends, and those from the community in attendance.
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 Brother Phil Witzig’s direction.