Encouraging people around the world since 1991 !!


Recorded 40+ years ago !!!


photo by Nancy (Briggs) Merrifield

The "Body Builders" Team
Fall 1978

Jon Pierce, Bruce Mills, Ralph Merrifield, Don Burke, Barry Nilson
During the recording session in a basement Sunday School room
of the First Christian Church, West Mansfield MA.


Only 7 of these 'special editions' were made, to give to those involved in the project.


Over 100 of these were sent to missionaries around the world..



And This I Pray   Video

Blessed Is The Man   Video

Directions   Video

Evening Prayer   Video

Help Me To Appreciate   Video

How Sweet Are Thy Words

I Wait For The Lord   Video

I'm A Child Of The King   Video

In Every Single Situation

Mealtime Prayer (Grace)

My Father Can Do Anything   Video

Open My Eyes

Romans 4:19-22

That Ye Might Walk

To Behold You   Video

Listen to the original MP3 recordings !



I became a Christian in April 1975 through the 
influence of a beautiful young lady (who I later married!) 
and the faithful, loving saints at First Christian Church.
In the Fall of 1975, I began attending Westfield State College.

During the summer months, I worked
at Charles A. Richardson Company (W. Mansfield MA),
running oily, noisy metal stamping machines
(forming parts for metal barrels).

While my hands were creating barrel parts,
my mind was shaping many of the
Scripture-songs found on this recording.

This was my first attempt to write and record Scripture-based songs.
I described it as "a contemporary Christian song cycle" on the songbook
cover (my music composition & history studies were influencing me!).
My newness as a believer and songwriter is quite evident in the
simple lyrics and occasionally awkward melodies,
but my heart was sincere...

We distributed less than 75 copies of the cassette,
but did rerecord many of the songs in later years
("My Father Can Do Anything",  "In Every Single Situation"...).
The latter was recorded and performed by a 
wonderful choir in Finland!  Most others by Johan Komrij in the Netherlands

For years, I sang "Evening Prayer" to my children as a lullaby
and periodically used "Open My Eyes" in public
worship gatherings at New Hope Chapel.

A new MIDI arrangement of "Open My Eyes"
was written in May 2008.


The Charles A. Richardson Company.  West Mansfield MA



Don Burke, Jon Pierce and Barry Nilson (the backup singers!)
were in my summer church discipleship group in Mansfield MA.
Bruce Mills (who recorded our session)
was in my college Bible Study in Westfield MA
(and a best man at my wedding!).

Tom Ross (who mixed the tape)
was one of my non-Christian coworkers
at Charles A. Richardson Company.

Arnold and George Giles from the Mansfield Press
donated their services to design and print the
Body Builders songbook (cover and links below).


the "Body Builders" songbook cover

Songbook Pages

1   2   3   4  

5   6   7   8

9   10   11   12   13


Also see "Early Years" site

All songs copyright 1979, Ralph Merrifield
New Hope Music, PO Box 1612, Westboro MA 01581

You have our encouragement and permission
to duplicate and share this song for all "not-for-profit" purposes
(ie. corporate worship, overheads, songbooks, web sites, give-away copies).
Please contact New Hope for other uses. Thanks !!!

1978 photo by Nancy (Briggs) Merrifield