The Maranatha Music Series

I became a Christian at a time that the Jesus Music was at its peak in the 1980s. Before long I fell in love with what I later got to know as the Maranatha Music Series. All my early Christian days are commemorated by the Maranatha Praise series. I can still remember recording these on my tape recorder and always looking forward to when the next series would be out. What a time to remember.

The music was new and fresh and brought the listener into the presence of God. I have tried to dig deep and find out more about this music and here is a series of that music. I have endevoured to provide links for you to enjoy listening to this now old music. As you listen to the series of what came to be called the “Maranatha Albums” produced between 1971 and 1980, now re-mastered, digitally enhanced and sounding better than ever, you will immediately sense the pure uncompromising joy of new faith and calling. For those of you that enjoyed that music you will remember artists like Charles Billingsley, Jonathan Butler, Terry Clark, Holland Davis, Teri DeSario , Lenny LeBlanc, Tommy Walker, Kelly Willard and many more.

History of The Maranatha! Music

Maranatha! Music began as a non-profit outreach of Calvary Chapel in 1971 which was home to more than 15 musical groups that were representative of the Jesus people movement. The Jesus People of the late 1960s and early 1970s began to write new hymns and worship songs with a folk-rock style.  At that time, several bands began experiencing new life in Jesus Christ and God began giving them what became known as Jesus Music through which they could express their love for Him. The music was new and fresh and brought the listener into the presence of God.

Maranatha! Music was founded at this time in order to publish and promote this new type of Christian music. Founder Chuck Smith sold the label to his nephew Chuck Fromm. The label is currently distributed by Warner Music Entertainment’s Word Music. Some of the early Maranatha! recording groups were Sweet Comfort Band, Love Song, Chuck Girard, Children of the Day, The Way, Debby Kerner, Mustard Seed Faith, and Daniel Amos. The label’s first release was a various artists compilation entitled The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert, in 1971.

Maranatha! also branched into the children’s market segment. Premier products included Psalty the singing songbook and the Kid’s Praise Kids. In the early 1990s this segment represented about 40% of company revenues.

In the 1980s, Maranatha! launched Broken Records, a label focusing on modern rock, punk and alternative music. Also of note is their “Colours Collection”, a series of albums containing instrumental renditions of many of the songs found on their other albums.


In 1990, Maranatha! was awarded the National Religious Broadcasters‘ President’s Award. In 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gospel Music Association.

Maranatha! Singers

The Maranatha! Singers is a long running Christian musical group that has released numerous albums for the Maranatha! Music label. It is best to view the Maranatha! Singers as a brand name for the Maranatha! Music label as various vocalists, musicians and instrumentalists that have performed under that name as a group for the Maranatha! Music label, under the direction of either hired or staff producers & arrangers chosen for each individual recording project.

Maranatha! Singers discography

  • Praise 1: The Praise Album (1974)
  • Praise 2: Open Our Eyes (1976)
  • Praise 3: Behold, Bless Ye the Lord (1979)
  • Praise 4: In His Time (1980)
  • Praise 5: Glorify Thy Name (1981)
  • Praise 6: You Are My Hiding Place (1982)
  • Praise 7: The Lord Reigns (1984)
  • Praise 8: As the Deer (1986)
  • Praise 9: Great Are You Lord (1987)
  • Praise 10: O Lord, My Lord (1988)
  • Praise 11: Let Us Worship the Lord, Jehovah (1989)
  • Praise 12: He Is Able (1990)
  • Praise 13: Meet Us Here (1990)
  • Praise 14: I Will Celebrate (1991)
  • Praise 15: He Has Made Me Glad (1991)
  • Praise 16: The Power of Your Love (1997)
  • Praise 17: In Your Presence (1997)
  • Praise 18: Grace Alone (1998)
  • Praise 19: Glorious Father (1999)
  • Praise 20: Who Is Like the Lord (1999)

Maranatha Colours Discography

  • A Time For Joy – Reflections In Guitar – Steve Erquiaga and Wayne Brasel (1986)
  • A Time For Peace – Ivory Sessions – Jeffrey Lams, Frank Martin, Kenneth Nash (1985)
  • Christmas Colours – John Andrew Schreiner (1992)
  • Classical Praise Cello – Robin Thompson-Clarke (1993)
  • Classical Praise Piano – Tom Keene (1991)
  • Colours In The Night – Saxophone Solos (1993)
  • Hiding Place – Music For Devotions – Nick Coetzee (1999)
  • Hymns In Colour – Harlan Rogers and Smitty Price (1989)
  • I Love You Lord – Classical Guitar Praise – Rob and Gilly Bennett (1990)
  • Instruments Of Your Peace – Celtic Music For Devotions – John Andrew Schreiner (1999)
  • Jesus You Are My Life – Shawn Tubbs (1999)
  • Jesus, Draw Me Close – Music For Devotions – Phil Kristianson (1998)
  • Palette – A Colours Sampler – Tom Howard Ensemble, Phil Keaggy and Jeffrey Lams (1986)
  • Praise – Harlan Rogers and Smitty Price (1987)
  • Praise Beyond Words – Harlan Rogers, Phil Keaggy, Tom Howard (1991)
  • Prisms – Portraits In Synthesis – Jeffrey Lams and John Andrew Schreiner (1986)
  • Rainmaker – Music For Devotions – Nick Coetzee (1994)
  • Reflection – A Colours Sampler – Tom Howard, Phil Keaggy, Smitty Price and Harlan Rogers (1987)
  • Solo Piano – Tom Howard (1987)
  • Spectrum – The Colours Sampler – Tom Howard, Phil Keaggy, Jeffrey Lams, John Andrew Schreiner and Steve Erquiaga (1986)
  • Technicolours – Bob Somma & John Campbell (1991)
  • The Colours Of Praise Two – Harlan Rogers and Smitty Price (1988)
  • The Gift – A Colours Christmas – Jeffrey Lams, John Andrew Schreiner, Tom Howard, Harlan Rogers and Smitty Price (1986)
  • The Harvest – Piano Solos – Tom Howard (1986)
  • The Hidden Passage – Tom Howard (1986)
  • The Wind and the Wheat – Phil Keaggy (1994)
  • Timeless – Hymns In Colour – Harlan Rogers & Smitty Price (1986)

Maranatha Sanctuary Series – Colours Reissues

Note: Reissues had some song titles renamed on each recording to reach different markets but the music remains the same.

  • Hope (2002) – previously issued as “Classical Praise Cello”
  • Mercy (2002) – previously issued as “Classical Praise Piano”
  • Reflection (2002)- previously issued as “Tom Howard – The Harvest”
  • Rest (2000) – previously issued as “A Time For Joy”
  • Restoration (2002)- Compilation from Sanctuary Series
  • Shelter (2000) – previously issued as “Tom Howard – The Hidden Passage”
  • Serenity (2003) – previously issued as “Tom Howard – Solo Piano”
  • Vision (2000) – previously issued as “Technicolours”



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