Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Crossroads Baptist Church

North of Tallapoosa, Georgia

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The 100th anniversary of Sacred Harp singing and Decoration Day at Crossroads Baptist Church, north of Tallapoosa, Georgia, was held on the first Sunday in July. Cecil Roberts called the class to order, welcomed everyone, and then led 60. Miranel Swafford offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Cecil Roberts 48t; Miranel Swafford 32t; Donna Bell 31t, 146; Hayden Arp 61, 204; Philip Denney, Karis Askin, Wyatt Denney 40, 63, 442; Marilyn Bradley 421, 207; Eschol Hughes 542, 436; Karen Rollins 227, 535; Rachel Hall 276, 145b; Charlene Wallace 145t, 155; Louis Hughes 135, 138t.


Hayden Arp brought the class to order leading 138t. Leaders: Margie Smith 101t, 317; Oscar McGuire 171; Tommy McGraw 430, 475; Erin Mills 267, 76b; Ben Sachs-Hamilton 47t, 335; B.M. Smith 284, 350; John Plunkett 71, 160b; Earlis McGraw 283, 389; Myles Louis Dakan 144, 37b.

In a business session the following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Vice Chairman—Miranel Swafford; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Hayden Arp.

Cecil Roberts read a resolution from the Haralson County Board of Commissioners commending Crossroads Baptist Church on its 100th anniversary for honoring the Sacred Harp singing tradition, both singers and supporters, and asked blessings for the continuation of developing and maintaining the strength of such a grand singing society. The framed resolution was presented to C.W. Garner, the eldest deacon of the church.

Karen Rollins conducted the memorial lesson. She read a poem, and then mentioned a touching excerpt from her Sacred Harp book written by her daddy, the late Lonnie Rogers, when he gave the book to her in 1992. Mr. Lonnie stated that as a whole, Sacred Harp singers from Maine to California to Chicago and Florida show more love for each other than any group I know today. I hope as you sing from this book and visit and mingle with the people who sing this music that you will enjoy the fellowship that I have enjoyed. Karen noted that she would have probably never known some of the people in attendance had they not been Sacred Harp singers. Karen told the class that the memorial lesson was a tradition in Sacred Harp, and that when someone is missing from a singing we miss them, whether they are deceased or unable to attend for some reason. She read the following names of the deceased: Bud Oliver, Lessie Reed, Barbara Hall, Dorsey Newman, Lawrence Newman, Geneva Newman, Violet Thomason, and Gertrude DeLong. Oscar McGuire led 30b in their memory.

Karen Rollins led 340 in honor of the following sick and shut-ins: Theo Wood Waddell, Josephine Denney, Jeff Sheppard, Shelbie Sheppard, Clyde McWhorter, Lois Bowman, Inez Woodall, Carlene Griffin, Teenie Moody, George Garner, Lucy Garner, S.T. Reed, and Ruth Daniel. Cecil Roberts closed the memorial lesson with prayer. James Newman offered the blessing of the noon meal.


The afternoon session of singing began with Cecil Roberts leading 457 (in memory of Fay Wood and in honor of Brenda Henderson). Cecil thanked the following individuals for their help in obtaining the resolution from the Haralson County Board of Commissioners: Donna Bell, Inez Chandler, Louis Hughes, and Robert Smith.

Leaders: John Plunkett 37t; Oscar McGuire 229; Erin Mills 213 (t? b?); Tommy McGraw 399b; Jason Stanford 499, 35; Eschol Hughes 436, 383; Rachel Hall 217, 215; Earlis McGraw 312b; Evelyn Harris 47t, 378t (for Ruth Daniel); Ben Sachs-Hamilton 209, 38b; B.M. Smith 405; Myles Louis Dakan 485; Paige Harrod 112; Ben Sachs-Hamilton 418; Donna Bell 168; Jason Stanford and Charlene Wallace 97.

Following announcements, Cecil Roberts, Miranel Swafford, and Donna Bell led 56t as the closing song. Eschol Hughes offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Vice Chairman—Miranel Swafford; Secretary—Donna Bell