Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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National Sacred Harp Convention

Trinity United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

June 17-19, 2004

Thursday, June 17

The twenty-fifth session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Chairman Buell Cobb who greeted everyone and led 52t. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Mark Davis 61; Kathy Williams 108t; Berkley Moore 123b; Jesse Roberts 495; Mike Hinton 146; Don Bowen 97; Dan Huger 86; John Redman 236; Sharona Nelson 84; Pat Temple 72b; Cassie Franklin 74t; Judy Mincey 475; Warren Steel 440.


The class was called together by Mark Davis. Leaders: Helen Brown 203; Alice Gatlin 179; Natalie Davis 354b; Riley Lee 300; Julianna Jett 108b; Mary Elizabeth Lee 192.

A business session was held with the following officers elected and committees appointed: Chairman—Buell Cobb; Vice Chairman—Mark Davis; Secretary—Kathy Williams; Chaplain—Elder Jesse Roberts; Arranging Committee—Cassie Franklin, Anne Kazlauskas, Dam Huger, Berkley Moore, Helen Brown, and Rosemary Greenaway; Resolutions Committee—Pat Temple, Janet Fraembs, and Marlin Beasley; Finance Committee—Don Bowen, John Redman, Dennis O’Brien, and Jim Helke; Memorial Committee—Sharona Nelson, Ginnie Ely, and Mike Hinton. Leaders: Tim and Mako Cook 347; Travis Keeton 129; Stephen Shearon 85; Dave Richardson 204; Judy Caudle 121; Harrison Creel 317; Dennis O’Brien 287.


The class was brought back together by Kathy Williams with 81t. Leaders: David Rust 291; Bernard Collard 28b; Brenda Dean 417; Bufrey Dean 408; Gary Smith 569b; Henry Bizzell 34b; Henry McGuire 365; Jeff Sheppard 439; Wanda Capps, Ann Jett, and Flarce Creel 299; Kurt Davis 45t; Kathleen Traywick 348b; Uel Freeman 64; Clarence McCool 535; Jim Carnes 436. J.L. Hopper offered the blessing on the noon meal.


The class was brought back together by Cassie Franklin leading 89. Leaders: Anne Kazlauskas 207; J.L. Hopper 438; Jim Helke 457; April Dell 49b; Stephen Marini 250; Ginnie Ely 546; Jessica Altman and Micah Roberts 200; Elene Stovall 142; Charlene Wallace 171; Ila Ingle 434; Bob Parr 112; Louise Holland 273; Bridgett Hill 383; Andy Anderson 28t; Shelbie Sheppard 183; Rosemary Greenaway 384; Lela Crowder 430; Martha Beverly 56b; Andrew Snyder 216; Daphene Causey 198.


The class was called back by Buell Cobb leading 303. Leaders: Mary L. Smith 388; Bobby Watkins 282; Julie Lee 82t; Frank Strickland 339; Anita Buswell 73b; Kennon Smith 268; Lee Rogers 390; Cheryl Foreman 328; Cathryn Baker 222; Anne Chalker 147t; Julietta Haynes 298; Henry Johnson 45b.

Buell Cobb and Mark Davis closed the day of singing with 46 as the final song. The closing prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Friday, June 18

Chairman Buell Cobb led 75 to open Friday’s session. The morning prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Mark Davis 36b; Kathy Williams 110; Jesse Roberts 316; Cassie Franklin 182; Helen Brown 542; Berkley Moore 378b; Dan Huger 137; Anne Kazlauskas 61; Rosemary Greenaway 503; Janet Fraembs 91; Marlin Beasley 498; Don Bowen 145b; John Redman 349; Jim Helke 327; Dennis O’Brien 304; Mike Hinton 543; Sharona Nelson 107; Ginnie Ely 196.


The class resumed singing with David Ivey leading 129. Leaders: Ivalene Donaldson and Wilton Donaldson 335; Vernelle Amason 143; Marlen Rust 29t; Bill Hogan 171; Robert Stoddard 193; Bill Stewart 480; Shirley Berrey 373; Amber Davis 532; Becky Briggs 460; Charles McCravy 176b; Charles Kitchens 205; Virginia Douglas 49b; Willie Mae Moon 383; Lyra O’Brien 538; Martha Wesley 397; Louis Hughes, Jr. 112; Riley Lee 164; Jennifer Allred 183; Natalie Davis 345t; Mary Elizabeth Lee 300; Marilyn Burchett 108b; Jane Zanichkowsky 362; Sandie Scott 472; Louis Hughes 403; Mary P. Wright 337; Brenda Pena 229; Carroll Lunsford 319; Mattie Townsel 317; Grace Scrimgeour 33b; Jewel Wootten 348b; Hubert Nall 566; Cora Sweatt 81t; Tim Reynolds 492; Danny Creel 269; Victoria Bolles 212; Robert Dove 344. The blessing was offered by Elder Bufrey Dean for the noon meal.


Cassie Franklin led 167 to call the class back to order. Leaders: David Yeager 240; Earl Ballinger 187; Ashley Keeton 186; Richard Ivey 222; Floy Wilder 227; Amanda Denson 142; David Carlton 272; Rodney Ivey 328; Tommie Spurlock 565; Nancy Reid 473; Gaston White 236; Sarah Smith 290; Andrew Snyder 245; Coy Ivey 384; Stanley Smith 273; Andrew Farris 178; Walter Hartley 452; Eugene Forbes 155.


Buell Cobb led 294 to call the class back to order. Leaders: Lomax Ballinger 168; George Pomfret 163b; April Dell 268; Lance Phillips 358; Phillip Gilmore 68b; Richard Schmeidler 474; Morgan Bunch and Sue Bunch 485; John Plunkett 486; Lou Cotney 218; Eleanor Soler 277; Nancy Van Den Akker 499; Bobbie Goodell 135; Rick Johnston 392; Wanda Gregg 40; Linda Thomas 556; Ann Ballard 408; David Richardson 389.

Mark Davis and Buell Cobb led 323t to close the day’s session. Elder Jesse Roberts dismissed the class with prayer.

Saturday, June 19

Saturday’s session was opened by Chairman Buell Cobb leading 31b. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Mark Davis 38b; Kathy Williams 208; Jesse Roberts 329; Helen Brown 411; Anne Kazlauskas 280; Rosemary Greenaway 480; Janet Fraembs 74b; Marlin Beasley 47b; Don Bowen 59; Jim Helke 523; Dennis O’Brien 228; Rodney Ivey 282 (for 35 visiting children from Belarus, who stood in the square to hear the song); Ginnie Ely 454; Pat Temple 232; Richard Mauldin 358.


David Carlton reconvened the class leading 101t. Leaders: Phillip Langley 430; John Merritt 312t; Nell Estes 192; Seth Holloway 274t; Karen Rollins 34b; John Redman 39t; Judy Mincey 50b; Leon Ballinger 99; Evelyn Harris and B.J. Harris 155; Stephen Shearon 213t; Judy Caudle 148; Linton Ballinger 306.


David Richardson led 88t to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Bernard Collard 362; Gary Smith 565.

Mike Hinton conducted the memorial lesson, and commented that his dad died on May 3rd at the age of 91, after having lived a great life. He loved God, his family, his country, Sacred Harp, and was here at this convention last year. He was a World War II veteran, and was one of 1100 who died on May 3rd. If you know any veterans, thank them for the service they gave this country.

I want to tell you a little story about Sam, our almost 5-year-old grandson. Our daughter and Sam came to Alabama for the celebration we had for Dad. Sam’s mom wanted to prepare him for Grandpa not being in Jasper. So she said, “Grandpa died, and he’s in heaven with Jesus and the angels.” Sam’s reply was, “Can I go see him?” That’s all he said. A few days later, Sam and his mom were going to daycare in the car, and Sam was talking about Alabama. He said, “That’s where Grandpa lives.” His mom said, “Sam, Grandpa died, and he’s in heaven now.” Sam was quiet for a little bit, and he said, “He can walk now.” Then he paused a little longer and said, “Do you think Jesus kissed him?” Do you think Jesus kissed him? What a wonderful, peace-giving thought. The more I think of that question, the more I think that Jesus does receive our dear singers, our family members, and our friends with a kiss. And in that instant, bodies are made well, eyes are clear, hearing is perfect, minds are whole. Isn’t that a beautiful thought, and isn’t this what we sing about?

I’ll now read the names of the singers, family, and friends lost since we last gathered: Susan McKathan, Donald Smith, Virginia Easter, G.L. Hinton, Willie Caroline Denson, A.A. Malone, Elvin Guthrie, Mavis Price, Christal Crocker, Lanie Shelton, Lamar Smith, Erskine Vandegrift, Elsie Sweatt, Oscar Jones, Martha Ellis, and Walter Gurley—Alabama; Betty Haas—Arkansas; Doris Morganson—Connecticut; Darrell Beasley, Robert Kendrick, and Ben Brady—Georgia; Marian Mahler Wilson Evans—Iowa; Anthony Jefferson and Robert Sanders—Illinois; Barbara Kamar—Massachusetts; Alma Alley, W.T. Wortham, Ruth Wortham, and Virgil Wise—Mississippi; Jeanette Soloil—Missouri; Ruth Pomfret—Pennsylvania; Walter Wade—Tennessee; Cecelia Hauff—South Dakota; Jack Whitehead—Texas; Jay Pace—Virginia. Mike Hinton, Ginnie Ely, and Sharona Nelson led 418 for the deceased.

Sharona Nelson led 340 for the sick and shut-ins. Mike Hinton closed the memorial with prayer.

Leaders: Tony Hammock 448b; Jessica Altman 181; Dorothea McCowan 196; Bob Parr 297; Cathryn Baker 318; Louise Holland 144; Lela Crowder 82t; Bobby Watkins 460; Cheryl Foreman 547; Julietta Haynes 218; Bob Goodman 551. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the blessing for the noon meal.


The class reconvened with Mark Davis leading 319. Leaders: Henry Johnson 70b; Daphene Causey 426b; Lyra O’Brien 313t; Herby Bailey 347; Linda Thomas 475; Robert Stoddard 53; Wanda Gregg 28b; Andrew Snyder 504; Rick Johnston 530; Bobbie Goodell 42; Nancy Van Den Akker 517; Virgel Campbell 46; Eleanor Soler 143; Carroll Lunsford 426t; Ila Ingle 436; Lou Cotney 222; Ann Ballard 57; Kurt Davis and Dustin McCowan 294.


Louis Hughes brought the class back to order with 76b. Leaders: Morgan Bunch and Sue Bunch 122; Richard Schmeidler 254; Lance Phillips 445; Kate Merritt Davis 171; George Pomfret 350; Eugene Forbes 400; Larry Ballinger 220; Walter Hartley 24b; Natalie Davis, Micah Roberts, and Rodney Ivey 354b; Leah Commer 159; Gaston White 66; Amanda Denson 300; Mary Wright 145b; Robert Dove 84; Grace Scrimgeour 48t; John Plunkett 398.

A business session was held for the purpose of hearing reports from the committees.

The Finance Committee thanked the convention for contributions that were sufficient to cover expenses.

The Resolutions Committee gave the following report. Be it resolved by this, the 25th National Sacred Harp Convention, give thanks unto the Lord, who has so generously provided us with good food and good singing. We thank the following:

  • Officers of this convention for all their hard work and devotion to the spirit of Sacred Harp.
  • Arranging Committee whose expertise has made the singing flow seamlessly.
  • Finance Committee for their tireless efforts to keep this convention afloat financially.
  • Memorial Committee for a very moving tribute.
  • The wonderful cooks whose talents have nourished our bodies that we might sing to the glory of God.
  • Not to be forgotten are all those silent singers whose support behind the scenes is vital to Sacred Harp.

We especially thank the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau for its continued support through the years.

The Secretary gave the following report: 665 people form 27 states, the United Kingdom, Belarus, and Kenya registered during the convention. There were 165 leaders who led 250 songs. The numbers by states and countries: Alabama—590; Georgia—38; Tennessee—24; Massachusetts—13; Mississippi—10; Illinois—6; Texas—5; Florida—5; Virginia—3; Louisiana—3; Arkansas—3; Indiana—3; North Carolina—3; South Carolina—2; New York—2; California—1; Colorado—1; Michigan—1; Maryland—1; Delaware—1; Rhode Island—1; New Jersey—1; Minnesota—1; Oklahoma—1; Maine—1; New Hampshire—1; Missouri—1; United Kingdom—4; Belarus—35; Kenya—1.

A motion was made and carried to accept the reports and add them to the minutes. The business session was closed.

The officers led 62 as the traditional closing song of the convention, and those who wished took the parting hand. Chaplain Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Buell Cobb; Vice Chairman—Mark Davis; Secretary—Kathy Williams.