Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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DeLong-Roberts Memorial Singing

Big Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The annual DeLong-Roberts Memorial Singing was called to order by Brady DeLong leading 36b. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Jessica Altman 34b; Helen Bryson 139; Eric Tweedy 174, 504; Micah Roberts 26, 29b; Faye Holbrook 542, 455; Tony Hammock 326, 56b; Judy Chambless 105, 503; B.M. Smith 72b, 155.


Jesse Roberts brought the class to order leading 301 and 65. Leaders: Ashley Thompson 434, 501; John Plunkett 30t, 33b; Richard DeLong 399b, 375; Shannon Primm 500 (in memory of Earlis McGraw), 371 (in memory of Violet Thomason).

A business session was held with the following officers elected to serve: Chairman—Jessica Altman; Vice Chairman—Matt DeLong; Secretary/Treasurer—Helen Bryson; Arranging Officer—Richard DeLong. It was also voted to change the starting time for the singing to 9:30 a.m., effective 2017.


Jesse Roberts called the class to order leading 31b. Leaders: Robert Chambless 452, 163b; Oscar McGuire 441, 515; Isaac Green 37b (for Hayden Arp), 338; Jeannette DePoy 460, 187 (for Scott DePoy); Chris Wilhelm 225t (for Hugh McGraw, Mr. Reynolds, Mary Baumeister), 74t; Michael Spencer 191, 433.

Jessica Altman conducted the memorial lesson. During this time, we pause to honor those who have gone before. These loved ones, family members, and treasured singers are now singing praises to our Heavenly Father. They no longer have to make long trips to sing. They no longer have aching bodies or failing memories. There are strong ties that develop between Sacred Harp singers. We sing songs for those who are sick, those who are unable to attend, and those who have passed away. Somewhere, almost every week, Sacred Harp singers meet to sing for the pure joy of it. Daddy (Jesse Roberts) has always taught us, if you want people to come to your singing, you should attend theirs throughout the year. He says, “People will get to know you and will come to your singing because you come to theirs”. This is what the DeLongs did. Their visitation brought singers who have supported this singing for many years. Richard DeLong, Jesse Roberts, and Janice Paulk have continued to follow this example through their frequent visitation to other singings. Richard and Jesse have taught singing schools to teach others to sing in an effort to keep the tradition alive. As I have reflected on past singings and the singers themselves, I am saddened by how small this memorial singing has become. I have also realized, and I must confess, that I fall extremely short of the example set before us. I challenge you to ask yourself if you fall short, too. If we truly desire for this singing to continue for our children and grandchildren, we must follow the example set before us.

Jesse Roberts led 47b in memory of the Roberts family. Janice Paulk led 75 in memory of the DeLong family. Richard DeLong led 77t for the following deceased: Sarah Womack Samples, Earlis McGraw, Robert DePoy, George Garner—Georgia; S.T. Reed, Hester Edwards, Elder Neal Prichard, Carolyn Beverly—Alabama; Joe Nall—Florida. Matt Delong led 288 for the following sick and shut-ins: George Burnett, James Hughes, Susan Harcrow, Norma Green, Jack Nelson, Melanie Hauff, and Janelle Davis. Jesse Roberts closed the memorial lesson with prayer.


Matt DeLong called the class to order leading 418 and 34t. Leaders: Donna Bell 68b, 229; Malinda Snow 541, 516; Lisa Bennett 198, 153; Timothy Altman 354b, 63; Winfred Kerr 314, 89; David Smead 74b, 204; Diane O’Shields 497, 82t; Karen Olsen Edwards 71, 290 (for Janelle Davis); Frances Carnell 448t, 485; Elli Snyder 289, 426t; Judy Mincey 126, 184; Leann Carter 383, 39b; Daniel Edwards 39t, 448b; Rachel Carlisle 318, 384; Janice Paulk 392.

Announcements were made. Matt DeLong and Jessica Altman led 62 as closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Jesse Roberts.

Chairman—Jessica Altman; Vice Chairman—Matt DeLong; Secretary—Helen Bryson