Born: Ju­ly 1957, Bar­re, Ver­mont.



Merrifield grew up in Mans­field, Mas­sa­chu­setts, where his fa­ther was a clerk at the post of­fice for ma­ny years, and his mo­ther was a school nurse.

In high school, he learned the gui­tar, be­came ac­tive in band and chor­us, and wrote folk songs. In Christ­mas 1974, his high school choir re­cord­ed and per­formed his Christ­mas Round; his first song col­lect­ion, 18 Years, ap­peared the fol­low­ing year.

Ralph ma­jored in mu­sic com­po­si­tion at West­field State Col­lege, where he be­came pre­si­dent of the lo­cal chap­ter of Cam­pus Cru­sade for Christ (CCC). He al­so played in lo­cal cof­fee hous­es and church­es, and played the ba­ri­tone horn with the Sym­pho­nic Wind Phil­har­mo­ni­ca.

After col­lege, he worked at the in­ter­na­tion­al head­quar­ters of the CCC in San Ber­nar­di­no, Ca­li­for­nia (1979–83).

He and his wife then re­turned to New Eng­land, where he worked for Cross­roads, an in­ter­de­no­mi­na­tion­al Christ­ian min­is­try in Sud­bu­ry, Mas­sa­chu­setts, and va­ri­ous book­keep­ing and ac­count­ing po­si­tions.

Ralph and his friends have been writ­ing Scrip­ture-based praise chor­us­es, re­cord­ing and lead­ing wor­ship for ov­er two de­cades. Since 1991, their songs have tra­veled to ov­er 210 coun­tries and all 50 states in Am­eri­ca.

Their songs have been trans­lat­ed in­to ov­er 20 lang­uag­es. They have pub­lished three song­books of chor­us­es for Pub­lic Wor­ship, Child­ren and Choirs. One piece, Splen­dor and Ma­jes­ty, was pub­lished by Hal Le­on­ard in their Praise and Wor­ship Fake Book; it was al­so ar­ranged by Tom Fett­ke and pub­lished by Fred Bock.

His New Hope Mu­sic web site has ov­er 500 orig­in­al, Scrip­ture-based praise songs and hymns by Ralph Mer­ri­field, Adri­an V. Mil­ler, Ste­phen Mi­sar­ski, Len­ny Smith, Ju­lie Joy­ner and others.