Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church

Abernathy, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The annual Sacred Harp singing at Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church near Abernathy, Cleburne County, Alabama, was held on the third Sunday in April. Robert Chambless called the class to order by leading 32t, then welcomed everyone. Robert acknowledged that several of our regular singers have passed away since the last time we met here and we miss their presence today. He then led 56t. Cecil Roberts offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: B.M. Smith 30t; Donna Bell 285t, 36b; Cecil Roberts 48t, 49b; Glenda Collins and Bert Collins 81t, 340; Tony Hammock 284 (for Earlis McGraw), 97; Karen Rollins 119, 343; Ruth Daniel 47t (in memory of her sisters, Evelyn Harris and Nellie Mae White, and Elder Neal Prichard), 378t; Lisa Bennett 26, 421 (for Janelle Davis); Sherrell Cleino 452 (in memory of Nellie Mae White), 88b (in memory of William Cleino and Edward Cleino).


Cecil Roberts brought the class back to order by leading 168. A business session was held with the following officers retained: Chairman—Robert Chambless; Vice Chairman—B.M. Smith; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Judy Chambless.

Leaders: Philip Denney 535, 61; Rene Greene 66, 340 (by request); Judy Chambless 410t, 549 (both songs were in memory of Stanly Edwards. Stanley was Chairman of this singing for many years); Robert Chambless 55 (Robert noted that this song was written by A.J. McClendon, who is buried at this cemetery); Samuel Williams 411, 534; Virginia Dyer 155, 112; Richard DeLong 332, 399b; David Smead 275t, 29t; John Plunkett 409, 88t.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Karen Rollins. Karen explained the tradition of a memorial lesson to the visitors, stating that it is usually held in the last hour before lunch on Sunday because it is considered the preaching hour, the most sacred hour, and it’s a time we stop to remember those who can’t be here because they’re sick and shut-in or they’ve passed away in the past year. She mentioned Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Karen spoke and read the lists of names. The sick and shut-ins honored were Earlis McGraw, Susan Harcrow, Eloise Wootten, Janelle Davis, Hester Edwards, Nate Green, Norma Green, James Hughes, Lucy Garner, and Joyce Bell. The deceased remembered were Elder Neal Prichard (pastor of this church), Nellie Mae White, George Garner, C.W. Garner, Curtis Hamrick, Evelyn Harris, Bill Cleino, Edward Cleino, Maggie Denney, Mattie Lou Pope, Lewis Bennett, Betty Jo Bennett, Sharon Noojin, and Bennett Green. Karen Rollins then lead 389. Philip Denney offered prayer to close the memorial lesson.

Leaders: Oscar McGuire 171, 441; Winfred Kerr 314, 146; Lisa Bennett 496; Virginia Dyer 186; John Plunkett 500; Rene Greene 172. The blessing of the noon meal was offered by Jerome Thompson.


Robert Chambless brought the afternoon session to order by leading 317. Leaders: David Smead 521; Samuel Williams 117; Ann Simpson 358, 354b; Tony Hammock 400; Philip Denney 313t (in memory of Jimmie Denney); Donna Bell 532; Cecil Roberts 163b; Ruth Daniel 335; Oscar McGuire 229; Winfred Kerr 89; Sherrell Cleino 127 (for Uncle Clellan); Ann Simpson 159; Judy Chambless 527.

Following announcements, Robert Chambless led 77b as the closing song. Tony Hammock offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Robert Chambless; Vice Chairman—B.M. Smith; Secretary—Donna Bell