Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Cleburne County Convention

Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The 122nd session of the Cleburne County Convention was held at Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church near Abernathy in Cleburne County, Alabama, on the third Sunday in August. Cecil Roberts called the class to order by leading 135 from a 1936 edition of The Sacred Harp donated to the convention in 1942 by Med and Al Huester in memory of J.W. Laminack. The book was given with explicit instructions that the only time it can be used is for the introductory lesson of the convention. Henry Johnson offered the morning prayer.

Cecil Roberts led 101t, and then cited a brief history of the convention. Leaders: Donna Bell 335, 426b; Judy Chambless 146, 142; Myrline Redmon 569b, 358; Robert Chambless 317, 84; Leigh Cooper 276, 176b; John Plunkett 467, 55; George Garner 489; Henry Johnson 205, 88t; Charlene Wallace 77t, 101b; Margie Smith 512; Jeff Sheppard 530, 392; Tony Hammock 303, 30b; Eugene Forbes 299, 318.


Cecil Roberts brought the class back to order leading 35. Leaders: Lela Crowder 471, 31b; Ed Thacker 432, 475; Reba Windom 213t, 403 (in memory of Milton Oliver); B.M. Smith 225t (for Lonnie Rogers), 222; Glenda Collins and Bert Collins 143, 340; J.R. Hardman 99, 183; Rob Kelley 51, 114; Mary Jo Shafer 229, 82t; Evelyn Harris 155, 47t; Ruth Daniel 378t, 127; Marilyn Bradley and Cecil Roberts 58, 59; Nellie Mae White 312t, 45t; Lou Cotney 300, 218; Ann Simpson 354b, 445. Cecil Roberts blessed the noon meal at the table.


The afternoon session of singing began with Cecil Roberts leading 42. Leaders: Donna Bell 441 (in memory of Mary Florence Smith); Leigh Cooper 76b.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Mary Jo Shafer. She read the names of the sick and shut-ins before leading 68b. Those honored were Lonnie Rogers, Nick and Carlene Griffin, Teenie Moody, Shelbie Sheppard, Lucy Garner, Lois Bowman, Marie Ivey, Bud and Sammie Oliver, Dr. Julietta Haynes, and Louis Hughes.

Mary Jo Shafer read the names of the deceased. Those remembered were Wayne Morgan, Opelika, Alabama, Mary Florence Smith, and Vernelle Forbes Amason. She led 503 in their memory, and in remembrance of Billy Joe Harris and Dale Harris. The memorial lesson was closed with prayer by Cecil Roberts.

Leaders: Ed Thacker 149; Tony Hammock 69t; J.R. Hardman 40; Robert Chambless 163b; John Plunkett 76t; Eugene Forbes 213b; Reba Windom 56t; Myrline Redmon 341; B.M. Smith 111b; Henry Johnson 425; Jeff Sheppard 39b; Mary Jo Shafer 129; Nellie Mae White, Ruth Daniel, and Evelyn Harris 208.

A business session was held to elect officers for the coming year. The class voted to retain the same officers as follows: Chairman—Stanly Edwards; Vice Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Committee—Judy Chambless. It was decided that next year’s Cleburne County Convention will be held at Edwardsville Baptist Church on the third Sunday in August.

Announcements were made. A request to lead 358 again was made. Cleburne County native and long-time Sacred Harp singer, Hester Edwards, age 92, commented that a lot of singers don’t like to sing Murillo’s Lesson. Ms Hester stated that every time she heard the song, she had visions of a soldier coming home from war, savoring the peaceful surroundings, as he walked through the valley. Cecil Roberts and Reba Windom led 358 as the closing song. Ed Thacker offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Stanly Edwards; Vice Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Secretary—Donna Bell