Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Alabama State Convention

Mt. Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church,
Birmingham, Alabama

November 22-23, 1997

Saturday, November 22

The ninety-eighth session of the Alabama State Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Bud Oliver leading song on page 32t. The morning prayer was led by Lonnie Rogers.

Leaders: Bud Oliver 82 (t? b?); Jewel Wootten and Linda Thomas 39t, 39b; Willie Mae Moon 434; Shelbie Sheppard 269; Jerry Enright 68t; Jerry Schreiber 200; Freeman Wootten 92; Elder Edwin Farris 51; B. M. Smith 462; Ila Ingle 436; Linton Ballinger 215; Coy Ivey 120; Samuel Sommers 386; Annie Lee Price 384; Lamar Smith 36b; Jeff Sheppard 35; Sarah Smith 290; Virgil Phillips 475; Pauline Childers 344; Rodney Ivey 270; Patricia Mauldin 63.


The class was brought together by Jeff Sheppard leading song on page 129. Leaders: Don Bowen 282; Norma Latham 34b; Travis Keeton 209; Louise Nelson 145t; S. T. Reed 32b; Carla Smith 234; Ted Mercer 266; Lomax Ballinger 101t; Regina Glass 272; John Hocutt 492; Aubrey Barfield 480; Josie Hyde 507; Harrison Creel, Cindy Franklin, Cassie Franklin 530; Judy Caudle 412; Richard DeLong 496; Johnny Beth Moore and Lorena Moore 77t; Lonnie Rogers 225t.


The singing resumed with Milton Oliver leading song on page 176 (t? b?). Leaders: Anne Steel 318; Dennis George and Jarrod George 148; Linda Sides 128; Tommie Spurlock 376; Hubert Nall 99; Lois Dixon 172; Jimmie Denney 335; Johanna Fabke 373; Tim Reynolds 223; Judy Mincey 497; Warren Steel 214; Mattie Townsel and Patsy Gentle 155; Gordon Olsen 163b; Becky Browne 362; John Etheridge 319; Jeanette DePoy 306; John Bayer 114; Hershell King 460.


The class was called to order with Jackie Tanner leading song on page 137. Leaders: Jenny Gurley 340; J. L. Hopper 149; Edward B. Howton 112.

A business session was held for the election of officers, and the following were elected or appointed: Chairman—David Ivey; Vice Chairman—Jeff Sheppard; Secretaries—Jewel Wootten and Linda Thomas; Chaplain—Elder Edwin Farris; Arranging Committee—Linton Ballinger, Coy Ivey, and Cindy Franklin; Memorial Committee—Becky Browne, Ruth Brown, and Shelbie Sheppard; Finance Committee—Don Bowen, Willie Mae Moon, and Jerry Schreiber; Resolutions Committee—Buell Cobb, Azilee Adams, Jerry Enright, and Samuel Sommers. End of business session.

Leaders: Katharine Hough 569 (t? b?); Henry Schuman 102; Reba Windom 192; Keith MacAdams 31t; Midge Olsen 455; David Hough 330b; Gary Gronau 163t; William Shetter 479; Michele Cull 147t; Louis Hughes, Sr. 565; Roy Nelson 456; Bob Meek and Mike Morris 198; Margie Smith and Nancy Allen 373; David Carlton 89; Cathy White 178; Bill Hogan 207; Jon Giles 268.


Jeff Sheppard called the class to order leading song on page 110. Leaders: Betty Sue Johnson 49b; Eron White and Corene White 408; Louis Hughes, Jr. 448t; Ron Crocker 48t; Dorothea McCowan 304; Lou Cotney 218; Kenneth Fannin 33b; Mary Holcombe 81t; Charles Farris 299; Eldagene Roberson 142; John Hyde 73t; Richard Mauldin 146; Emily Jones, Pernie Pelfrey, and Azilee Adams 67; Leola Smith 349; Gary Smith 68b.

Jeff Sheppard, Elder Edwin Farris, and Elder J. L. Hopper led song on page 46 as the closing song. The class was dismissed with prayer by Elder J. L. Hopper.

Sunday, November 23

The Sunday morning session began with Jeff Sheppard leading song on page 36b. The morning prayer was led by Louis Hughes, Sr.

Leaders: Jewel Wootten 27; Linda Thomas 47t; Jerry Enright 354t; Don Bowen 283 (for Elene Stovall); Jerry Schreiber 66; Azilee Adams 34t; Willie Mae Moon 475; Samuel Sommers 24 (t? b?); Becky Browne 201; Ann Jett 546; Bud Oliver 426t; Lorena Moore 312b; Jon Giles 551; Edith Tate 73t; Henry Johnson 338; Shelbie Sheppard 211; Thurman Nall 99; Charlene Wallace 387; Jim Carnes 81t; Marie Guthrie 220; George Cox 512; Flarce Creel, Harrison Creel, Ann Jett, and Cindy Franklin 318; Linton Ballinger, Coy Ivey, and Cindy Franklin 198, 222.


The singing continued with Jeff Sheppard leading song on page 270. Leaders: Elvin Guthrie 172; Buell Cobb 72t; Carlene Griffin 77b; Evelyn Harris 155; Freeman Wootten and grandson, Stephen Hullett 145b; Horace Batchelor 154; Cecile Cox 282; B. J. Harris 503; Mae Seymour 272, 189; Bill Aplin 177; Celia Carnes and Cassie Franklin 146; Marie Aldridge 316; Dennis George 29t; Terry Hullett and Stephen Hullett 276; Jan Ketelle 464.


The class was brought to order by Rodney Ivey leading song on page 186. Leaders: Eloise Wootten 171; Louis Hughes, Sr. 153; Jan Nesbitt and mother, Willie Mae Moon 380; Linda Sides 332.

The memorial lesson was held at this time with Becky Browne reading from Romans 8th chapter: “Who can separate us from the love of God”. Ruth Brown spoke using the names from songs as her topic: Passing Away—we are passing away; Fleeting Days—the moment when our lives begin, we all begin to die; Holy City—there is a Holy City, a happy world above; All Is Well—I soon shall be from every pain and sorrow free, all is well. Ruth Brown read the names of the deceased since last year’s convention: Nora Collett, Eugene Blackwood, Delta Wootten, Jimmy Causey, Barrett Ashley, Bonnie Ashley, Verna Williams, Will Battles, Lola Jenkins, Unie B. Howard, Buddy Tindal, Ernest Phillips, Marilou Jolly, Bob Fannin, Merle Etheridge, Lauren Lakey, Rodger Morrison, Lola Roberson, Emma Nell Nelson, J. E. Allen, Kenneth Brandon, Eva Reeves, Silas Lee, Estelle Napier, Mel Bailey, Gail Rich, Madolin McGray, Willa Mae Holt, Buck Aaron, Alvin Parker, Howard Bynum, Willie Mae McClendon, Josie McAlpin, Barry Sullivan, Susan Wantland, George Barford, Herman Wilson, and Edna Wilson. Becky Browne and Shelbie Sheppard led song on page 28b for the deceased. Ruth Brown read the list of sick and shut-ins which included: Helen Bryson, Horace DeLong, Hadyn Creel, Vernice Calvert, Essie Calvert, Ruby Phillips, Jap Walton, Lawrence Underwood, Lula Underwood, Herbert Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Harden, Jerry Sheppard, Mozell Sheppard, Tommye Denson Mauldin, Morris Fahbion, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Oden, Alpha Black, Ozettia Gilliland, Bill Green, Maxine Lacy, Johnny Jeans, Catherine Cessna, Dodge Wiggins, Woodie Walker, Richard Allison, Nick Fabke, and Bill Anderson. John Bayer led song on page 83t for the sick and shut-ins. Billy J. Harris closed the memorial with prayer.

Leaders: Carla Smith 149; Kyle Blakeley 32t; Jeanette DePoy 385t (for Helen Bryson). Harrison Creel asked the blessing on the food.


Jeff Sheppard brought the class to order leading song on page 112. Leaders: Marlon Wootten 31b; Bob Meek 268; Tim Cook 347; Norma Latham, Mattie Townsel, and Patsy Gentle 128; Waylon Blakeley 142; all young people in attendance under the age of twenty: Cassie Franklin, Regina Bayer, Celia Carnes, Gavin Blakeley, Kyle Blakeley, Jubal Bayer, Hans Bayer, Josie Bealle, Dustin McCowan, Stephen Hullett, and Tommy George 354 (t? b?); Jackie Tanner 298; Shelley Capps 100; Eric Coats 236; Kermit Adams 408; Midge Olsen 269; Pauline Childers 234; Tonia George 117; John Bayer 421; Bill Shetter 369; Ted Mercer 216; Cassie Franklin, Regina Bayer, and Hans Bayer 328; Kathy White 84; Richard DeLong 336.

A business session was held. Samuel Sommers gave the Resolutions Committee report. Members of the Resolution Committee wish to express thanks to:

  1. the many people who have made this session of the Alabama State Convention possible;
  2. the officers, organizers, and committee members;
  3. Elder Edwin Farris and the people of Mt. Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church;
  4. all the people who provided, prepared, and served dinner to the group both days;
  5. the Piggly Wiggly which provided soft drinks and cups;
  6. singers who came from far and near to sing for our joy and to God’s glory;
  7. God, the giver of every good gift.

Respectfully submitted by: Samuel Sommers, Buell Cobb, Azilee Adams, and Jerry Enright.

Shelbie Sheppard gave the report for the “Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings”. Balance on hand as of November 19, 1996, $8,244.55; deposit of $467.50; balance on hand as of December 31, 1996 was $8,712.05. Printing of book for 1996-1997—$4,306.00; posatage/mailing supplies for books $601.83. Balance as of February 4, 1997—$3,804.22; deposits for 1997—$5,496.00. Balance on hand as of November 23, 1997—$9,300.22. It was discussed, decided, and approved by the convention members to:

  1. include David Ivey as a member of the committee in the preparation of the minutes book;
  2. increase the amount for printing from $25.00 per singing day to $30.00 per singing day.
  3. when books are to be mailed, an additional amount of $7.00 should be included for shipping expenses, i.e. postage/labels/boxes.

Amounts submitted should be: $30.00 if picked up, $37.00 if mailed.

Jewel Wootten gave the financial report. Balance brought forward $1,231.08; interest $48.29; collection $588.40; total $1,867.77. Supplies $69.72; chicken $71.54; B-B-Q $104.00; gift to church $250.00; minutes $50.00. Balance $1,322.51. End of business session.


The class was brought together with Jerry Enright leading song on page 40. Leaders: Judy Mincey 523; Eloise Clark 313b; Louis Hughes, Jr. 208; Michelle Cull 73b; Reba Windom 224; David Hough 371; Eldagene Roberson 300; Roy Nelson 432; Katharine Hough 457; Gavin Blakeley 317; John Bealle 278t; Gordon Olsen 547; Henry Schuman 388; Gary Gronau 110; Regina Glass 86; Eloise Avery 35; Chita Blakeley and Glenn Conn 430, 497.

Jeff Sheppard and Elder Edwin Farris led song on page 62 as the closing song while the class took the parting hand. The closing prayer was led by Elder Edwin Farris.

Seventeen states were represented: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Chairman—David Ivey; Vice Chairman—Jeff Sheppard; Secretaries—Jewel Wootten and Linda Thomas.