Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Alabama Sacred Harp Musical Convention

Mount Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

November 22-23, 2003

Saturday, November 22

The one hundred-fourth session of the Alabama State Sacred Harp Convention met at Mount Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church on the fourth Sunday and Saturday before in November. Chairman David Ivey called the class to order at 9:00 a.m. leading 32t. Louis Hughes, Sr. offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Vice Chairman Henry Johnson 385t; Elene Stovall and Linda Thomas 112; Bud Oliver and Max Berueffy 145t; Jewel Wootten 145b; Mattie Townsel 68b; Hubert Nall 64; Jimmy Ballinger and David Ballinger 340; Sarah Smith 290; Berkley Moore 43; Robert Walker 569b; Wilton Donaldson 348b; Richard Mauldin 77t; Ruth Wyers 75; Corene White 171; Coy Ivey with Melissa Block, and Andrea Hsu of National Public Radio 384; Linda Shea 567; Bill Beverly 547; Andy Anderson 496; Milton Oliver 270; Marlin Beasley 408.


Jeff Sheppard brought the class to order leading 142. Leaders: Edith Tate and Bud Oliver 73t; Louis Hughes, Jr. 208; Colin Neel 30t; Rachel Baker 388; Hannah Baker and Cathryn Baker 300; Olivia Hill 24b; Alex Makris 76b; Bethanne Hill 33b; Kermit Adams 99; Terry Hullett 203; John Hyde 297; J.C. Rutledge 454; Sandra Wilkinson 282; Velton Chafin 521; Hershell King 426t; Charlene Wallace 481; Josie Hyde 224; Cheryl Foreman 328.


The class resumed singing with Cassie Franklin leading 280. Leaders: Martha Beverly 56b; Laura Timmerman 274t; Gary Gronau 192; Julietta Haynes 200; Kshama Ananthapura 37b; Louis Hughes, Sr. 512; Karen Freund 383; Doron Henkin 385b; Amanda Ballinger 215; Penny Kujawinski 472; Bridgett Hill 276; Leigh Barr Sher 28b; Don Bowen 466; Michelle Cull 480; Karen Willard 36b; Eliza Cavanaugh 299; Ila Ingle 436; John Plunkett 539; Shelbie Sheppard, Jim Neel, and Colin Neel 455; Jeannette DePoy 394; Charles Kitchens 179. Samuel Sommers offered the blessing on the noon meal.


The afternoon session was brought to order by Max Berueffy and Rodney Ivey leading 81t, followed by Laura Clawson leading 542.

It was moved and seconded to go into a business session for the purpose of electing officers. The following officers were duly elected and committees were appointed to serve: Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Max Berueffy; Secretaries—Linda Thomas and Elene Stovall; Arranging Committee—Cassie Franklin, Linton Ballinger, and Bud Oliver; Memorial Committee—Shelbie Sheppard and Richard DeLong; Finance Committee—Rodney Ivey and Don Bowen; Resolutions Committee—Richard Mauldin and Becky Browne; Chaplain—Samuel Sommers. A motion was made and seconded to close the business session.

Leaders: Larry Ballinger, Lomax Ballinger, Linton Ballinger, and Buddy Ballinger 110, 306; Becky Browne 434 (for Karen Isbell); Lela Crowder and Linda Cotton 442; Samuel Sommers 548; Daphene Causey 223; Lisa Geist 273; Dennis George 362; Betty Shepherd 216; Floy Wilder 336; Danny Creel 222; Lynne deBenedette 430; Richard DeLong 411; LaRue Allen 220; Amber Springfield Davis 217; Joan Aldridge 475; Henry Schuman 318 (for Pauline Childers); Susan Harcrow 183; Pam Nunn 236.


The class resumed singing with Henry Johnson leading 166. Leaders: Amanda Denson 272; Jerry Enright 176t; Lou Cotney 172; Tim Cook 49t; Darlene Dalton 309; Judy Caudle 428; Wayne Hartman 35; Lou Kujawinski 473; Adrian Nall 288; Charles Franklin 74b; Flarce Creel, Cindy Tanner, and Cassie Franklin 198; Travis Keeton 398; Buell Cobb 565.

After announcements were made, Henry Johnson led 45t as the closing song. Samuel Sommers offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, November 23

The Sunday morning session began at 9:00 a.m. with Chairman Henry Johnson leading 59. Chaplain Samuel Sommers offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Vice Chairman Max Berueffy 157; Gary Smith 569b; Willie Mae Moon 568; Eugene Forbes 168; Nate Green and Norm Green 283; David Yeager 240; Debbie Wakefield 432; Earl Ballinger 430; Helene Langston 391; Jackie Tanner 182; Nancy Yeager 479; John Etheridge 460; Jan Ketelle 296; Clarence McCool 349; Harrison Creel 530.


B.M. Smith brought the class to order leading 273. Leaders: Eliza Cavanaugh 384; Herby Bailey 523; Jayne Fulmer 155; Colin Neel 39t; Rachel Baker 117; Alex Makris 119; Olivia Hill 274t; Hannah Baker 335; Brian Kelly 345t; Doron Henkin 333; Eloise Wootten 234; Leigh Barr Sher 47b; Berkley Moore 551; Penny Kujawinski 83t; Louis Hughes, Sr. 492; Karen Freund 421; Loyd Ivey 89; Martha Beverly 344; Cathryn Baker 340.


The class resumed singing with Cassie Franklin leading 400. Leaders: Judy Caudle 316; Linda Shea 330t; Louis Hughes, Jr. 448t; Kshama Ananthapura 81t; Jeannette DePoy 99.

Richard DeLong and Shelbie Sheppard conducted the memorial lessonand led 229 for the deceased and 179 for the sick and shut-ins. The deceased remembered were: Cecelia Hauff—South Dakota; B.E. Matthews—Texas; Myrtle Meek—Kentucky; Virginia Bloom and Ray Bloom—Missouri; Dinah Breunig—Vermont; Hugh Anderson—New York; Vivian Rogers and Everette Denney—Georgia; Lois C. Smith, Mabel Hartman, and Bruce Ketelle—Tennessee; Robert Sanders and Anthony Jefferson—Illinois; Gordon Ashman—United Kingdom; Lamar Smith, Leola Smith, Etoile Smith, Ruth Brown, Lavaughn Ballinger, Donald Smith, Allie Aldridge, Willie Carolyn Denson, Zelma Harcrow, Alpha Black, Beulah Reese, Jane Phillips, Harvey Austin, A.A. Malone, John Henry Busby, Ann Deason, Lucille Burkes, Dessie Goodman, Rose Altha Taylor, Lena Barker, Clark Phillips, and Erskine Vandegrift, Jr.—Alabama.

The sick and shut-ins remembered were: Reba Windom—Michigan; Karen Isbell—Missouri; Oscar McGuire, Imogene Bradshaw, and Herman Wilkinson—Georgia; Kelly Beard and William R. Reynolds—Texas; Linda Sides—Tennessee; Paul Butler—Vermont; Marie Bartlett—Massachusetts; Betty Haas—Arkansas; Elsie Beasley, Eldora Moody, Bill Green, Beufa Green, Jap Walton, Joyce Walton, Anna Wootten, Kelly Beard, Lebron Hinton, Dick Mauldin, and John Hocutt. Samuel Sommers closed the memorial with prayer.

Leaders: John Plunkett 232; Tony Ivey 29b; Gary Gronau 285t; Bill Beverly 86; Karen Willard 53; Jerry Enright 77t. Samuel Sommers offered the blessing on the noon meal.


The afternoon session was brought to order by Henry Johnson leading 45b. Leaders: Floy Wilder 373; Laura Clawson 269; Stuart Ivey and Allison Ivey 362; Pam Nunn 196; Becky Browne 304; Lela Crowder 215; Dennis George 532; Lynne deBenedette 76b; Daphene Causey and Sharon DuPriest 434; Susan Harcrow 186; Richard DeLong 542; Amber Springfield Davis 546; Samuel Sommers 426b; LaRue Allen 200; Danny Creel 137; Joan Aldridge 198; Richard Ivey and Marion Wilhoite 282; Shelbie Sheppard 195; Larry Ballinger 151; Bridgett Hill 142; Cindy Tanner 189.


Jeff Sheppard brought the class to order leading 113. Leaders: Michelle Cull 112; Lou Kujawinski 350; Charles Franklin 480; David Ivey and Karen Ivey 371; Bobby Watkins 58.

A motion was made and seconded to go into a business session for the purpose of hearing reports from various committees.

Richard Mauldin and Becky Browne gave the Resolutions Committee report.

The Resolutions Committee respectfully submits the following resolution to the members of the 104th session of the Alabama Sacred Harp Musical Convention. We resolve:

  • To give thanks to God, our Creator, who has sustained us and blessed us through His wondrous love and freely offered grace.
  • We thank God for inspiring the poets and composers of these songs, hymns, and anthems that we meet together to sing, and for the people He has anointed over so many years at varied locations who have worked to teach, preserve, and promote this special music we all hold so dear.
  • To remember with respect and honor all lovers of Sacred Harp Music, and the memory of our many friends, loved ones, and ancestors who established our traditional style of Sacred Harp singing and admonished us to “seek the old paths and walk therein.”

We thank our officers and committees for two days of joyful and spirited singing that was enjoyed even more due to the organization and cooperation by all who made the convention run so efficiently. The Arranging Committee did a splendid job calling the leaders and did it so very well that it looked easy, which we all are aware, was not.

We also give our thanks to all those who provided the delicious food, as well as the desserts that tempted our inner resolve but delighted our taste buds. This appreciation also extends to the folks who helped with the serving and clean up both days.

Once again we extend our deep, heartfelt thanks to the church members at Mount Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church for allowing us the use of their church for this convention.

We also wish to remember those who have given their lives and health for the freedoms we enjoy today, and we ask for safety and protection to those presently serving throughout this world.

We shall continue to encourage our singing companions to meet and sing together as often as possible and to meet here again next year for the 105th session of the Alabama Sacred Harp Musical Convention.

Last, but not the least of our resolves, we want every singer that came from near and far to know that your presence here has made this singing special to each of us this year. Without any one of you, and our non-singing visitors, we would not have had the wonderful singing we have experienced together these two days.

Linda Thomas gave the Finance Committee report. Balance brought forward $3,094.30 plus interest of $58.79 for a total of $3,153.09; collection $1,137.76; total forward $4,290.85. Expenditures: supplies and food $752.76; gift to church $250.00; cleaning of church $75.00; minutes $60.00. Total expenses $1,137.76. Balance after expenses $3,153.09.

A motion was made and seconded to accept reports as given and to close the business session.

Leaders: Rodney Ivey 56t; Darlene Dalton 147t; Don Bowen 145b; Ron Farris 401; Wayne Hartman 63; Bethanne Hill and Amber Davis 47t; Mattie Townsel 143; Ila Ingle 500; Josie Hyde 507; Linda Thomas and Elene Stovall 436; Bud Oliver and Coy Ivey 270; Richard Mauldin 84; Travis Keeton 44; Marlin Beasley 317.

Announcements were made. Elene Stovall gave the following report. There were 132 who registered from 17 states. A total of 110 leaders led 98 songs on Saturday; 97 leaders led 91 songs on Sunday; a total of 207 leaders leading 189 songs over the two days of singing.

Henry Johnson and Max Berueffy led 62 as the closing song, Tony Ivey offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Max Berueffy; Secretaries—Linda Thomas and Elene Stovall.