Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Uncle Jack Kerr and Henry Kerr Memorial

Camp Ground Methodist Church, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The annual Uncle Jack Kerr and Henry Kerr Memorial Sacred Harp singing held at Camp Ground Methodist Church, north of Muscadine, Cleburne County, Alabama, on the second Sunday in January was called to order by Henry Johnson leading 59. Cecil Roberts offered the morning prayer. Henry stated that “Cleburne County, Alabama, used to be a strong-hold of the Sacred Harp community. Although this is the Kerr Memorial, we should also remember the other Sacred Harp singers from this area that are not with us today, whether by death or unable to attend for health reasons.” Henry then led 549 (in memory of B.J. Harris, Jeff Sheppard, Shelbie Sheppard, Lou Cotney, the Edwards, the Owens, and in honor of Evelyn Harris).

Leaders: Ed Thacker 147b, 527; Donna Bell 47t (for Evelyn Harris), 171; Judy Chambless 146 (in memory of Lou Cotney, Jeff Sheppard, Shelbie Sheppard, Carlene Griffin, and Teenie Moody), 29t; Cecil Roberts 31t, 33b; Virginia Dyer 340, 454; Rene Greene 299 (in memory of her daddy, Jeff Sheppard), 217; Robert Chambless 225t; 317; Mildred McElroy 318, 436 (for Joyce Walton); Charlene Wallace, Earlis McGraw, Robert Rivers, and Hugh McGraw 155 (in memory of Carlene Griffin); 273 (in honor of Coy Ivey).


Henry Johnson brought the class back to order leading 164. A business session was held with the following officers retained: Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Ed Thacker; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Judy Chambless.

Leaders: B.M. Smith 34b, 284; Jack Nelson 560 (for Bro. Avery), 165; Lisa Bennett 148, 203; Oscar McGuire 336 (in memory of J.T. Pruitt), 485; Hayden Arp 470, 384 (for Coy Ivey, in honor of his birthday); Margaret Thacker 39b, 303; David Brodeur 49b, 283.


The afternoon session of singing began with Ed Thacker leading 421. Leaders: John Kelso 422, 426t (for his friend, Virginia); David Smead 481, 182.

Members of the Kerr Family were asked to come forward. Mrs. Lois Bowman, age 95, and a daughter of Jack Kerr, welcomed everyone and gave a brief report with expressions of gratitude to those who came to make this a special day. Mrs. Bowman told the class “I was rocked to sleep with Sacred Harp and don’t ever stop singing...even if you mess up.” Mrs. Bowman introduced her great, great-granddaughter, Emma, as a potential future Sacred Harp singer. Mrs. Irene Snow, age 97, also a daughter of Jack Kerr, was present. Hester Edwards, age 95, a niece of Henry Kerr, spoke briefly about her fond recollections of singing with her family. The Kerr Family then led 455, 282, and 143.

Leaders: John Plunkett 167, 109; Earlis McGraw 111t (in memory of Carlene Griffin and Clyde McWhorter), 475; Fallon Cook, Rene Greene, and Elisa Hollsinger 476, 269; David Smead and Lisa Bennett 535; Oscar McGuire and Cecil Roberts 229; John Kelso and David Brodeur 228; Henry Johnson, John Plunkett, and B.M. Smith 113; Ed Thacker and Margaret Thacker 498; Jack Nelson, Donna Bell, and Paige Gilbert 358; Earlis McGraw and Robert Rivers 378t; Rene Greene and Virginia Dyer 40 (in memory of Shelbie Sheppard); Henry Johnson and Fallon Cook 69t.

Following announcements, Henry Johnson and Ed Thacker led 521 as the closing song. Ed Thacker offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Ed Thacker; Secretary—Donna Bell