Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Cornelius Benjamin (Bennie) Keeton Memorial

Shady Grove (Keeton Cemetery), Walker County, Alabama

September 15, 2002

The thirty-first session of the annual Sacred Harp singing was held on the third Sunday in September at Shady Grove Church, better known as Keeton Cemetery, in Nauvoo, Alabama. This singing is dedicated to the memory of Bennie Keeton whose desire was to have Sacred Harp singing here. He was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery in August 1971. The first singing was held in September. He was unable to attend, but the singing was taped and carried to him in Birmingham. He cried as he listened to the songs as they were being sung on the tape, songs he had sung all of his life. He passed away January 6, 1972.

Travis Keeton called the class to order, welcomed everyone, and led song on page 37b. Velton Chafin offered the morning prayer. Travis Keeton led song on page 131b.

The class was organized with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Glenn Keeton; Vice Chairman—Travis Keeton; Arranging Committee—Willodean Barton; Secretary—Lena Keeton.

Leaders: Glenn Keeton 59; Winell Sanders 225t; Roma Rice 136, 104; Chris Rice 112, 454; Kermit Adams 273, 270; Wilton Donaldson 490, 565; Judy Caudle 450, 489; Ken Tate 47t, 343, 426b (by request); Lisa Geist 391 (for her uncle, Lavaughn Ballinger, and her cousin, Kim, who are both ill), 31t; Clarence McCool 569b; Clarence McCool and Lisa Geist 475.


The class resumed singing with Travis Keeton leading song on page 142. Leaders: Margaret Keeton 349, 441; Henry Guthery 517, 527; Ozella Blackmon 187 (in memory of Mattie Creel); Max Berueffy 203, 377; Josie Hyde 224, 234; Velton Chafin 541, 540; Julietta Haynes 168, 172; Larry Ballinger 139, 133; Lucy Heidorn 30t, 36b; John Merritt 67, 240; Jayne Fulmer 155, 217.

Glenn Keeton spoke about the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001, and asked for a moment of silent prayer for all those who passed away on that day and for their families. He then asked the class to stand and sing 45t.


Glenn Keeton called the afternoon session to order and led songs on pages 34b and 275b for Bruce Randolph.

Leaders: Elene Stovall 182, 189; Brenda Merritt 192, 200; Ann Ballard 284, 338; Edith Tate 389, 512; Lena Keeton 235 (in memory of her father, Bennie Keeton), 546 (for Bruce Randolph); Gary Smith 523, 285t (in memory of Frances Beasley Lee); Becky Briggs 179 (in memory of her sister, Frances Beasley Lee), 335; Sarah Smith 32t, 35; John Hyde 544, 566; Charlie Ballard 354b, 388; Willodean Barton 82t. Glenn Keeton and his mother, Lena Keeton, led song on page 387 in memory of her mother, Maude Keeton, and all their ancestors.

Announcements were made. Glenn Keeton and Travis Keeton led song on page 267 as the closing song, Max Berueffy offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

A special thanks to Bruce Randolph for his assistance with the minute fund.

Chairman—Glenn Keeton; Vice Chairman—Travis Keeton; Secretary—Lena Keeton.