Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Uncle Jack Kerr and Henry Kerr Memorial

Camp Ground Methodist Church, North of Muscadine,
Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The annual Uncle Jack Kerr and Henry Kerr Memorial Sacred Harp singing at Camp Ground United Methodist Church, north of Muscadine, Cleburne County, Alabama, was held on the second Sunday in January. Henry Johnson led 59. Cecil Roberts offered the opening prayer.

Henry Johnson gave a brief history of the singing, stating that it started sometime during in the 1970s, and met a few times at the community center before moving to Camp Ground Methodist Church. The singing is estimated to have been in existence for 40 or more years. Henry welcomed everyone, and then noted the absence of several regular singers due to illness and asked that we remember them in prayer. Those named were B.M. and Margie Smith, Ed and Margaret Thacker (Ed is Vice Chairman of the singing), Earlis McGraw, Fallon Cook, and Fallon’s cousin, Robin Finley.

The following officers were retained or appointed: Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Ed Thacker (in abstention); Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Judy Chambless.

Leaders: Henry Johnson 322; Donna Bell 209, 31t; Cecil Roberts 35, 100; Dalton Lewis 354b, 401; Charlene Wallace 155, 283; Robert Chambless 159, 72b (for B.M. Smith); Lisa Bennett 318, 475; Virginia Dyer 210, 222; Chris Coughlin 400, 445; Andy Ditzler 38t, 187.


Henry Johnson brought the class back to order by leading 88t. Henry Johnson made a special presentation of The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition, to little Miss Shirley Johnson, age 7, in memory of her great-great-grandfather, Jack Kerr, and in honor of her PawPaw, Cecil Roberts. Shirley Johnson and Cecil Roberts led 59.

Leaders: Karen Rollins 350 (for B.M. Smith), 354t; Cheyenne Ivey 309, 432; David Brodeur 50t, 42; Rebecca Over 511 (in memory of Henry Kerr, noting that he led this lesson at the Mt. Zion Convention in 1955), 211; Jack Nelson 560; 95.

The Kerr Family conducted the memorial lesson. Mrs. Irene Snow, age 99 (Jack Kerr’s daughter) stated that she and other siblings had been blessed with long life spans. It was mentioned that although the Kerr daughters were aging, their minds were still intact. Notably absent were Mrs. Lois Bowman, age 97 (also a daughter of Jack Kerr) and Miss Hester Edwards, age 97, who, up until a couple of years ago, was a regular at singings in this area for many, many years. Mrs. Jolene Loescher, (granddaughter of Jack Kerr) thanked everyone for coming and expressed her appreciation to the singers, citing that Sacred Harp singing was a way of life for their Granddaddy, Jack Kerr, and Henry Kerr, Winfred Kerr’s daddy. Also in attendance was Sarah Roberts (granddaughter of Jack Kerr) and other family members. The Kerr Family led 45t and 282. Leaders: Rene Greene 186, 183. John Plunkett asked a blessing on the noon meal.


The afternoon session of singing began with Henry Johnson leading 60. Leaders: Samuel Williams 534, 505; David Smead 284, 389; Isaac Green and David Brodeur 388, 111t; Earlis McGraw 414, 225t; Oscar McGuire 229, 163b; Hayden Arp 426b (in memory of Flora Skinner), 170; John Plunkett 460 (for John Hollingsworth), 516; Winfred Kerr 146, 314; Jason Stanford 276, 47b; Rebecca Over 547 (in honor of Cecil Roberts, for his birthday); Judy Chambless 472.

After announcements, Henry Johnson led 45b as the closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Jack Nelson, and the class was dismissed.

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