Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Mississippi State Sacred Harp Singing Convention

Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church - Decatur, Mississippi

August 26-27, 1995

Saturday, August 26

The sixty-seventh annual session of the Mississippi State Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held at Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church, Decatur (Newton County), Mississippi, on August 26 and 27, 1995. The Convention opened with the President, Mark Davis, leading song on page 37b. Elder Charles Porter led in prayer. Mark Davis appointed Junie McNeil and Tim Gray as the Arrangements Committee. Jean Gray was appointed as Interim Secretary. President Davis led songs on pages 81t and 229, and then presented the following program: Vice President John Van Horn 77t, 384; John Hollingsworth 192, 196; Elder Charles Porter 155, 137; Sharona Nelson 66, 47t; Hugh McGuire 82t, 89; Paula McGray 276, 101t; H. B. McGuire 67 for Ms. Bernice Embrey, 146 for Ms. Ruby Easley; Angela Benton 358, 145b; George Easley 313 (t? b?), 299. President Davis appointed the Business and Credentials Committee as follows: Arlon Gardner, Durward Scarborough, and George Easley. Singing was resumed as follows: Janice Nelson 288, 460. President Davis welcomed those from far and near and called for a 10 minute recess.


President Davis called the convention back together leading song on page 74b. Singing was resumed as follows: Durward Scarborough 45t, 339; Dr. Wilma Mitchell 63, 147t; Arlon Gardner 129, 448b; Tim Gray 40, 200; Mike and Christine McNeil 222, 268; Tiffany Harrison 117; Jean Gray 108 (t? b?), 203; Chaplain W. M. Allen 207, 75.

President Davis appointed Mae Ola Nelson, H. B. McGuire, and Mike McNeil to the Locations Committee. President Davis then led song on page 180, followed by a move and second to dismiss for lunch.


The Convention was blessed with a bountiful lunch from 12:00 to 1:00. After lunch, President Davis began the afternoon session leading songs on pages 36b and 189. He was followed by: John Merritt 480, 300; Junie McNeil 119, 32t; Billy Hollingsworth 354b, 49t; Henry McGuire 142, 380; Lisa Davis 350, 528; Sarah Tidwell 42, 72b; Judy Harrison 297, 104; Jimmy Smith 569b, 565b; Ester Mann 426t, 85.

President Davis opened the floor for the business of electing officers for the coming year. A motion was made and carried to retain the present officers with the exception of Jean Gray being elected as secretary. Singing was resumed with President Davis leading, by request, 236, “Easter Anthem”. The Convention adjourned for a 10 minute recess.


Singing was resumed as follows: President Mark Davis 454; Vice President John Van Horn 522 (Cooper Book); John Merritt 569 (t? b?); John Hollingsworth, remembering Ms. Ottis Matthews, 408; Charles Porter 136; Hugh McGuire 344 (Cooper Book); Sharona Nelson 452; Paula McGray 327; H. B. McGuire 442; Arlon Gardner 49b; Janice Nelson 378t; Durward Scarborough 240; Dr. Wilma Mitchell 39t; Tim Gray 434; Jean Gray 215.

President Davis appointed Janice Nelson and John Hollingsworth as the Memorial Committee. After announcements, the convention was adjourned by singing the Drone and prayer by Chaplain W. M. Allen. Afterwards, the Convention was treated to watermelon, courtesy of the folks from Calhoun County.

Sunday, August 27

The Vice President, John Van Horn, opened the second day of the convention leading songs on pages 39b and 64. The Chaplain, W. M. Allen, led in prayer, and then led songs on pages 59 and 144; Secretary Jean Gray 143 and 418. Singing then resumed as follows: Hugh McGuire 123b, 124; Paula McGray 48t, 341; John Hollingsworth 36b, 36t; Dr. Wilma Mitchell 274 (t? b?), 68b; Tim Gray 61, 31b; H. B. McGuire 572 (Cooper Book), 563 (?); Angela Benton 358, 147t. President Davis called for the committees to be ready to report at 2:00 p.m. Hugh McGuire and Ester Mann were appointed to the Resolution Committee. Leaders: President Davis 176b, 171, 172; Mike McNeil 573 (Cooper Book), 182; Janice Nelson 100, 223; Durward Scarborough 354 (t? b?), 345b; Billy Hollingsworth 186, 323b; Ester Mann 438, 445b; Paula Freeman 146, 200. President Mark Davis dismissed the singing for lunch.


The afternoon session was resumed as follows: President Mark Davis 441; Kurt Davis 345 (t? b?); Arlon Gardner 530, 430; Sharona Nelson 63, 497; Henry McGuire 112, 78; Christine McNeil 496, 330b; Neva Dee Mayes and Eva Dee Wyatt 145b; Junie McNeil 319, 97; President Mark Davis, by request from Mae Ola Nelson, 408; President Mark Davis 254; Hugh McGuire and Henry McGuire, by request from the Arrangements Committee, 236. The business session was opened by President Mark Davis calling for reports from all committees. Resolution Committee Report: We wish to thank Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church and the singers of Newton and surrounding counties and state for entertaining the 1995 Mississippi State Singing Convention. Respectfully, Hugh McGuire and Ester Mann. Locating Committee Report: We recommend that the 1996 session of the Mississippi State Sacred Harp Singing Convention be held at a location to be determined later. Respectfully, H. B. McGuire, Mae Ola Nelson, and Mike McNeil. Business and Credentials Committee Report: We have several counties and states represented at the Convention, with delegates and visitors. We find a quorum present. We have collected a total of $120.00 as follows: Calhoun County—$25.00, Chickasaw County—$32.00, and Newton County—$63.00. Respectfully, Arlon Gardner and Durward Scarborough. Memorial Committee Report: We have the following members reported passed away since last session, 1994, to wit: Benny Rigdon, Lilian Burt, T. T. Fortenberry, Lamar Caldwell, Myrtis Pritchett, Lessie Cates, and Blanche Pace Bailey. John Hollingsworth and Janice Nelson led songs on pages 339 and 235 in memory of all. All reports were accepted and committees dissolved, except the Locations Committee. President Davis called for a 10 minute recess.


Singing resumed as follows: President Mark Davis 175, 220; Vice President Van Horn 306; President Mark Davis, by request from Secretary Jean Gray, 218; Chaplain W. M. Allen 490; Hugh McGuire 503 (Cooper Book); Paula McGray 373; Tim Gray 46; H. B. McGuire 515; John Hollingsworth 290; Durward Scarborough 111t; Ester Mann 160b; Arlon Gardner 47b; Sharona Nelson 163 (t? b?); Henry McGuire 269, by request, 424. President Mark Davis called for announcements, then dismissed by singing the Drone and prayer by Chaplain, W. M. Allen.

Chairman—Mark Davis; Vice Chairman—John Van Horn; Secretary—Jean Gray.