Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Great River Road Singing Convention
(Cooper Book)

Jordan’s Chapel and Old Courthouse Museum, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Saturday, October 25, 2003

The class was called together at Jordan’s Chapel by John Merritt, leading “Angel Band” (OSH) and 29b (CB). Randy McCollum offered the opening prayer. Gordon Cotton gave a message of welcome and led 218 (OSH). Singing was from the Cooper Book, the Alabama Christian Harmony, and the Old School Hymnal.

Leaders: John Merritt 564; Wanda Gregg 470, 143; Brenda Merritt 76,142; Mike McNeil 573, 522; Paul Figura 146, 575; A.E. Probst 574, 239; Nancy Van Den Akker 497; John Lee Van Horn 38t, 36b; Mark Davis and Bobby Caldwell 82, 54t.


The class was called back to order with John Merritt leading 243b. Leaders: Mark Davis 128, 154b; Ester Mann and Mark Davis 505, 484b; Jean Gray 288, 358; Barbara McNeil and Mike McNeil 559, 571; Ann Fox and Paul Figura 388, 507b.

Gordon Cotton offered some remarks on reviving the tradition of Sacred Harp singing in the area, and a small group sang “Who Will Sing for Me.” John Merritt asked the blessing on the noon meal.


The class reconvened at the Old Courthouse Museum where Gordon Cotton, the curator, offered a welcome to members of the local community who had come to listen, and led an opening prayer.

Leaders: John Merritt 59, 49t; Mark Davis 155, 200; Mark Davis and Natalie Davis 572; John Lee Van Horn 132, 488b; Mike McNeil 204t (CH), 47 (CH); Bobby Caldwell and Mark Davis 38b, 216t (CH); Jean Gray 63, 127; Barbara McNeil 54t, 559; Nancy Van Den Akker 229, 192; Paul Figura 101t, 40; A.E. Probst and John Merritt 159, 45b; Ann Fox and Paul Figura 107; Shirley Figura 484b; Brenda Merritt 543b, 47b; John Lee Van Horn 235; Wanda Gregg 239; Ester Mann 451b, 171; John Merritt “Nothing But the Blood”, 571, 117 (CH); John Merritt and Brenda Merritt 331t.

Gordon Cotton extended an invitation to hold a singing at the museum next year, and closed the singing with prayer.

Chairman—John Merritt; Secretary—Nancy Van Den Akker.