Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Cane Creek Primitive Baptist Church

Heflin, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, May 21, 2017

On the third Sunday in May, the annual Decoration Day Sacred Harp singing was held at Cane Creek Primitive Baptist Church near Heflin, Cleburne County, Alabama. Due to the death of our beloved Chairman, B.M. Smith in September of last year, Glenda Collins called the class to order by leading 101t. The opening prayer was offered by Cecil Roberts. Glenda welcomed everyone, and then led 138t.

A business session was held and the following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—David Brodeur; Vice Chairman—Glenda Collins; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Judy Chambless; Memorial Lesson—Lisa Bennett.

Leaders: David Brodeur 398, 499; Donna Bell 268, 350; Lisa Bennett 47t, 332; Judy Chambless 35, 43; Cecil Roberts 399b, 229; Margie Smith and Oscar McGuire 475; Winfred Kerr 388, 389; Eugene Forbes 384, 385t; David Smead 279, 121; Robert Chambless 225t (in memory of B.M. Smith and Earlis McGraw and in honor of Hugh McGraw and Karen Rollins); Rebecca Over 200 (in memory of Ed Barber), 316 (in memory of Arnevis Norton).


The class reassembled with David Brodeur leading 59. Leaders: Ed Thacker 77b, 379; Frances Jones 72b, 358; Virginia Dyer 373, 546; Jack Nelson 157, 66; Pam Nunn 224, 155 (in memory of Evelyn Harris); Hubert Nall 47t, 448b; Rene Greene 87, 222; Andy Ditzler 164, 401; Sylvia Holland 339, 348b; Oscar McGuire 163b, 515.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Lisa Bennett. She briefly explained the tradition of the Sacred Harp memorial to the large congregation of visitors in attendance saying that this is the time we stop and take a moment to think about those people who aren’t with us today: whether they are sick, whether they are shut-in, or whether they have died in the past year, but of course, we think about all the others who’ve gone on years before, too. Lisa mentioned having some people on the sick and shut-in list who are usually here. She said, “One we are all thinking about is Hugh (Hugh McGraw). He’s been having quite a few health problems lately.” Lisa went on to say that Hugh was chairman of the music committee that compiled the 1991 edition of The Sacred Harp when it was last revised and that he has been extremely important in everything to do with Sacred Harp. Karen Rollins is also on the list, another dear friend. Other names on the sick and shut-ins list include Lois Bowman, Richard Mauldin, Sandra Johnson, and Concetta Branson. Lisa Bennett led 472 for the sick and shut-ins.

Lisa continued, and read the following list of names of the deceased: B.M. Smith, Earlis McGraw, James Hughes, Gail Jackson, Geneva Prichard, Abi Edwards Counts, Wyatt Edwards, Ludie Halcombe Gustafson, Lynn Swafford Key, Joe Higgins, and Harold DeLong—Georgia; Alene Harris and Edna Ruth Phillips—Alabama; Janelle Davis—Illinois; Joe Nall—Florida. Lisa then led 312t. Hubert Nall closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Fallon Cook 548, 47b; John Plunkett 145t, 33b; Richard DeLong 511 (in memory of Henry Kerr), 177.

Charlie Norton gave a report on the church and cemetery fund. He stated that the money collected is used for upkeep of the church and cemetery maintenance. The church only has two members. Ann Simpson led 388 and 445. Cecil Roberts offered the blessing of the noon meal at the tables.


David Brodeur brought the afternoon session of singing to order by leading 551. Leaders: Ruth Daniel 335, 378t; Glenda Collins and Bert Collins 340; Donna Bell and Eugene Forbes 148; Dalton Lewis 70b, 354b; Robert Chambless 354t (in memory of his brother, Ronald Chambless); Jack Nelson 56t; Winfred Kerr 128; David Brodeur 101b; Lisa Bennett 543; Andy Ditzler 527; David Smead 336; Margie Smith 317; Fallon Cook 564; Rene Greene 460; John Plunkett 71; Eugene Forbes 299; Oscar McGuire 485; Ed Thacker and Andy Ditzler 383 (in memory of Elder Lewis Norton); Hubert Nall 186; Robert Chambless 353 (in honor of Hugh McGraw); Cecil Roberts 312b.

David Brodeur thanked the church for hosting the singing today. Announcements were made, and Charlene Wallace thanked all the singers for coming.

David Brodeur led 521 as the closing song. Judy Chambless offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—David Brodeur; Vice Chairman—Glenda Collins; Secretary—Donna Bell