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For Immediate Release

December 10, 2014

Dove Award winner Matthew Ward to sing at Jan. 22 National Prayer Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Christian music chart-topper Matthew Ward will sing during the interdenominational National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers on Thursday morning, January 22, 2015 at Constitution Hall.

In the 1970s and 80s, Matthew, a singer, songwriter, recording artist and music producer, helped create the sound that came to be known as Christian Contemporary Music. Now his faith-infused music will fill the majestic Constitution Hall as people of all denominations gather on the morning of the March for Life to pray for all children in the womb and their parents.

The service will run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET, leaving plenty of time for attendees to get to the March for Life rally at noon. The morning will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a Catholic Mass.

Matthew grew up on a farm in North Dakota, the youngest of nine siblings. Losing both of his parents by the age of 12, he and a sister, Nelly, went to live with an older sister, Annie Herring, and her husband Buck, a music producer. Their therapeutic nightly sing-a-longs led to the creation of the band Second Chapter of Acts, a group – featuring Matthew, Annie and Nelly -- that became wildly successful in the 1970s and 1980s.

When the band disbanded in 1988, Matthew embarked on a solo career that has taken him around the world, and into the studio with a wide-ranging roster of performers, including disco diva Donna Summer, country crooner Leann Rimes and a host of Christian artists.

Matthew is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the winner of a Dove Award, helped lead 500,000 men in worship as a member of the Promise Keepers Praise Team in 1996, and has two songs that made it to No. 1 on the Christian music charts. Many might remember him from his appearance on the 1996 Billy Graham TV Christmas special, “A Season For Peace,” when he sang the title song.

Matthew had to take time out of his busy career to battle a deadly cancer, but as soon as he was able, he was back in the studio recording “My Redeemer,” with songs about his fight to live and the comfort of his faith. It became the most widely acclaimed work of his solo career.

Dozens of clergy from across the denominational spectrum also will take the stage for the 21st annual National Memorial, which will feature a sermon by Father Frank Pavone, President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and National Director of Priests for Life.

“This service is a prayerful yet powerful way to begin the March for Life,” Father Pavone said. “Having a singer of the spiritual caliber of Matthew Ward will help carry our prayers to the Lord, who is the only one who can stop this holocaust visited on our land 42 years ago.”

The prayer service is organized by The National Pro-Life Religious Council, The National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Faith and Action, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Co-sponsoring organizations include: American Values; Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project; Life Issues Institute; Americans United for Life; National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and Alliance Defending Freedom.

Serving on the Host Committee are: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Gary Bauer, President, American Values; Archbishop Craig W. Bates, Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church; Ernie Ohlhoff, National Right to Life Committee; Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life; Brad Mattes, CEO, Life Issues Institute; Charmaine Yoest, Ph. D., President and CEO, Americans United for Life; Alan Sears, President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom; Dick and Sherley Bott, Bott Radio Network, and Rich Bott, President and CEO, Bott Radio Network.

Constitution Hall is located at 1776 D St., NW, at 18th Street, in Washington, D.C. No tickets are required and large groups can be accommodated. For more details, see www.NationalPrayerService.com 

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