Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Cleburne County Sacred Harp Singing Convention

Edwardsville Baptist Church,
Edwardsville, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The 125th session of the Cleburne County Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held at Edwardsville Baptist Church in Edwardsville, Cleburne County, Alabama, on the third Sunday in August. Cecil Roberts called the class to order leading 75 from a 1936 edition of The Sacred Harp donated to the convention in 1962 by Midge and Al Kuester in memory of J.W. (Uncle Will) Laminack. The book was given with explicit instructions that the only time it can be used is for the introductory lesson of the Cleburne County Sacred Harp Singing Convention. The morning prayer was offered by Henry Johnson. Cecil Roberts then led 48t.

After welcoming everyone, Cecil gave a brief history of the Cleburne County Singing Convention, citing that it originated at St. Michael Lutheran Church on September 28, 1889. The day of singing was dedicated to the memory of William Stanly Edwards, former chairman of this convention, who passed away on August 2, 2014, and to the memory of Jeff Sheppard, who passed away exactly one year earlier.

Leaders: Rene Greene 217 (in memory of her mother, Shelbie Sheppard), 200; Donna Bell 475 (in memory of Stanly Edwards), 47t (for Evelyn Harris); Judy Chambless 340; 472; Glenda Collins and Bert Collins 76b, 335; Marilyn Bradley 175 (in memory of Stanly Edwards), 47b; Margie Smith 317; Robert Chambless and Chris McKnight 72b, 32t; Charlene Wallace 417, 441; Richard DeLong 330t, 36t; Karen Rollins 227, 540.


Rene Greene brought the class back to order leading 63. Leaders: Virginia Dyer 454, 182; B.M. Smith 350, 138t; Erin Johnson-Hill 57, 460; Tony Hammock 430, 314; Anita Landess 89, 111b; Henry Johnson 60, 176t; Edna Ruth Phillips 77t, 354b (in memory of her recently deceased sister, Audress Gurley); David Brodeur 377, 411; Wendy Futral 268, 98. Cecil Roberts thanked the class for $229.00 and asked that the amount be noted in the minutes.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Karen Rollins and Rene Greene. Karen mentioned that it’s good that we stop and confront the fact that we’re all going to die. She stated that we don’t have much chance to do otherwise when singing Sacred Harp because we sing so much about death and dying. Karen read the names of the following sick and shut-ins: Betty Wright, S.T. Reed, Evelyn Harris, Ed Thacker, Margaret Thacker, Floy Wilder, George Garner, Lucy Garner, Lois Bowman, James Newman, James Hughes, Julie Fraoli, Mona Nelson, and Eugene Forbes. The following deceased were remembered: Shelbie Sheppard, Bernard Denney, Teenie Moody, Lou Cotney, Mike Nunn, C.T. Williams, Stanly Edwards, Carlene Griffin, Elder Lewis Norton, Junie Wootten, Herman Wilkinson, Reuben Ball, and Audress Gurley. Rene Green shared a poem to honor the memory of Stanley Edwards. Karen Rollins then led 339. Judy Chambless closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Tommy McGraw 91, 542; Fallon Cook 146, 216; Reba Windom 192 (in memory of Stanly Edwards); Rene Greene and Reba Windom 436 (in memory of Jeff Sheppard). The blessing of the noon meal was offered by Rev. Jeff Layton, pastor of the church.


The afternoon session of singing convened with Cecil Roberts leading 477. Leaders: Earlis McGraw 29b, 435; John Plunkett 467, 473; Jack Nelson 348b, 560; Hayden Arp 72t (in memory of Elder Lewis Norton), 405; Jason Stanford 229 (for Darryl Crisp), 568; Angela Riley and Rene Greene 569b, 45t; Erin Johnson-Hill 404, 422; Anita Landess 389.

A business session was held to elect officers for the coming year. The following officers were retained: Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Vice Chairman—Rene Greene; Secretary—Donna Bell. The class voted to have next year’s Cleburne County Sacred Harp Singing Convention at Edwardsville Baptist Church, Edwardsville, Alabama, on the third Sunday in August.

Announcements were made. Cecil Roberts, Rene Greene, and Donna Bell led 46 as the closing song. Tommy McGraw offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Vice Chairman—Rene Greene; Secretary—Donna Bell