Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention (Cooper Book)

Henderson Community Center, Henderson, Texas

August 10-11, 2002

Saturday, August 10

The one hundred thirty-fourth session of the East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention met at the Henderson Community Center in Henderson, Texas. At 9:30 a.m., while John Morris was still greeting singers at the front, the class spontaneously began to sing “Mercy Seat.” This quickly brought John to the front and he officially brought the class to order by leading song on page 76b. Tom Owen offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Emmie Morris 171; Marion Grant 36t; Sam Craig 145; Doris Hanks 36b; Floyd Bennett 451b; Victoria Aplin 421; Leon Ballinger 559; Georgia Kanode 358; Amanda Owen 99.


Henderson Mayor, Foy Brown, welcomed the group to the city.

The class was called to order by Frank Hataway leading song on page 49b. Leaders: Myrl Jones 142; Bill Aplin 106; Dale Redmon, Jr. 540; Carlene Griffin 146; Curtis Owen 558b; Ester Huckaby 411; Gaylon Powell 272; Stanley Smith 98; Edith Owen 47t; Sarah Huckaby 416t; Rodney Ivey 497.


John Morris called the class to order and led song on page 275. Leaders: David Moseley 450; Monnie Ross 49t; Tommie Spurlock 402; Diane Ross 419; John Etheridge 552; John Kanode 571; John Beard 384; Zach Rogan 128; Charlene Wallace 567; Owen Ross 383; Myra Palmer 414; Billy Huckaby 522; Kelly Beard 250; Mike Jones 447; Jeb Owen 470; Catherine Rogan 186; Ryan Ross 365; Josh Rogan 299; Aubrey Barfield 202; Liz Owen 212; Tim McClain 82; Amanda Blevins 155.


John Morris brought the afternoon session to order and led song on page 395b. Leaders: Reed Coates 270; Bob McLemore 58; Kevin Powell 200; Beverly Coates 489; Shane Wootten 543b; Donald Ross 95; H.P. O’Mary 103; Earl Ballinger 203; Tom Owen 544; Vivian Rogan 32t; Henry Schuman 280; Bob Meek 484b; Troxel Ballou 508; Neil Vaught 563; Michele Rogan 215; Ernestine Pipkin 110; Bruce Coates 201; Olivia Powell 235; Charlie Vaughn 549.


Gaylon Powell brought the class to order leading song on page 149. Leaders: Gary Rogan 54t; Stanley Smith and Rade Humphries 174; Cheryl Foreman 183; David Rousseau 87; Robert Vaughn 40; Shane Wootten 478; Aubrey Barfield 192; Rodney Ivey and John Etheridge 292b; Tommie Spurlock 468; Henry Schuman 572; Earl Ballinger 176; Seth Howard and Owen Howard 133.

Tom Owen led song on page 69 as the closing song. Gary Rogan offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, August 11

The Sunday morning session was opened by John Morris leading song on page 282. Bill Aplin offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Robert Vaughn 562b; David Moseley 137; Charlene Wallace 276; Gaylon Powell 193; Mike Jones 384; David Rousseau 119; Tommie Spurlock 574; Gary Rogan 300; Phyllis Costner 434; Cheryl Foreman 140; Bob Meek 38t; Curtis Owen 73t; Carlene Griffin 155; Joan Aldridge 515; Donald Ross 539; Kevin Powell 240; Dale Redmon, Jr. 507b; Bill Aplin 453t; Myrl Jones 189.


John Morris called the class to order and led song on page 331t. Leaders: Vivian Rogan 100; Victoria Aplin 508; Earl Ballinger 217; Owen Howard 146; Henry Schuman and John Etheridge 319; Rodney Ivey 559; Floyd Bennett 127; Diane Ross 224; John Etheridge 336t; Jeb Owen 74b; Seth Howard 38b; Myra Palmer 497; Stanley Smith 450; Aubrey Barfield 220; Beverly Coates 385t; Shane Wootten 331b; Frank Hataway 138t; Georgia Kanode 395b; Bruce Coates 39; Michele Rogan 386; Doris Hanks 422b.

The memorial lesson was held. Diane Ross led song on page 406, and David Rousseau read the names of Sacred Harp singers and supporters of Sacred Harp who had passed away in the last year. Those listed were: Walter Clark, Nobie Smith, Bob Craig, Pauline Cathy—Texas; Lane Albritton—Florida; J.B. Chapman, Robert Spurlock, Betty Etheridge, and Lucille Tolbert—Alabama; Betty Jane Craig—Arkansas.

Mary Craig brought a moving devotional entitled “Children of the Resurrection”: “Blessed is the man who dies in his own bed” (my beatitude). The events of September 11, 2001, soon to be a year away, brought home the fact that life is fragile, gives true meaning to the Bible’s descriptions: “Life is like a vapor,” “Life is like grass that springs up, withers, and blows away.” The thousands of deaths on 9-11 were unexpected and violent in a way never before experienced. These deaths were untimely. The nine miners, trapped in a mine two miles below the earth’s surface, faced what, all things considered, must be certain death. But, time permitted, and prayers of intercession lifted up holy incense from all parts of the globe. The miners, too, had time to pray and to reflect on the condition of their souls. God intervened and nine lives were spared. This was a miracle in our time. The age of miracles is not in the past, friends. About the lives lost in the towers, we can only conjecture. But should we? I think not. We can rest assured that they are in the hands of a just and loving God, who asserts that all souls are His. He created them and they returned to Him. But, where does this leave us? It leaves us pondering our own mortality. It says, “Be ready!” We are admonished to “Lay hold” of our faith. To me this means ‘activate.’ Do not let it become passive. At a time when turmoil tormented Texas, Sam Houston was quoted as saying: “The times are getting yeasty. We must be stirring.” We can be ready by taking spiritual inventory and rectifying anything that threatens our hope of eternal life. Each of us is responsible for the condition of our spiritual house. We are admonished to “set our houses in order.” In Ecclesiastes 12:1 we read: “Remember now your Creator in the days of youth, before the difficult day come. Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth it is, and the spirit to God, who gave it.” You do not need me to interpret these metaphors. They speak clearly. To continue with Ecclesiastes: “Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is mans all: For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing. Whether it be good or evil.” Friends, the Kingdom is not about what we eat or wear. It is not about whether we have high church or low; it is about a relationship, a personal relationship with Christ. With that, all other things fall into place, and we can be “God’s children; children of the resurrection.” Think about it!

Diane Ross led song on page 406, and Curtis Owen closed the memorial lesson with prayer.


John Morris brought the class to order for the afternoon session and led song on page 330b. Leaders: Reed Coates 225t; Amanda Blevins 148; Charlie Vaughn 387; Monnie Ross 108b; Olivia Powell 168; Tom Owen 179; Neil Vaught 159; Josh Rogan 444t; Billy Huckaby 47b; Catherine Rogan 489; John Kanode 505; Edith Owen 410; Zach Rogan 299; Sarah Huckaby 112; Leon Ballinger 120; Amanda Owen 68t; Sam Craig 57; Burl Russell 75; Robert Vaughn 521; Joan Aldridge 84; Mike Jones 435; Rodney Ivey 511b; Bob Meek 516; Floyd Bennett 447; Gaylon Powell 250 (by request).

Sam Craig led song on page 45t as the closing song. Judge Donald R. Ross offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Co-Chairpersons—John Morris and Emmie Morris; Secretary/Treasurer—Marion Grant.