Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Higher Ground Singing/Darrell Swarens Memorial

Terre Haute, Indiana

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The 23rd annual Higher Ground Singing was also a memorial to Darrell Swarens from Terre Haute, who traveled the world to sing and was dearly loved by all. Leaders were invited to share their memories of Darrell. The class was called to order by Lori Graber leading 350. Mark Graber offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Virginia Eldridge 29t; Don Bardsley 147t; William Shetter 547; Shirley Figura 36b; Tim Gregg 99; Shannon Tibbs 42; Ray Rechenberg 71; Adrian Eldridge 499; Carol Ann Munro 392; John Hoerr 189; Eloise Clark 416; James Eldridge 498; Michael Mosely 454; Curtis Cook 333; Katherine Eldridge 507; Paul Figura 415; Tom Morton 335; Beth Garfinkle 146.


Lori Graber called the class back together by leading 76b. Leaders: Peggy Brayfield 373; Aaron Jones and Ginny Landgraf 89 (MH); Presley Barker 131 (MH); Tim Morton 138 (MH); Jim Helke 198; Bob Cull 163 (MH); Ginny Landgraf 266; Joan Aldridge 228; Zachary Davis 56b; Janet Fraembs 532; Carol Ann Munro 159.

The memorial lesson was dedicated to Darrell Swarens and the following people shared memories about his welcoming, adventurous spirit and his devotion to Sacred Harp singing here, in the South, and around the world. Adrian Eldridge and Virginia Eldridge spoke about how he had adopted their family, becoming a grandfather to their kids and bringing them culture by taking them all to museums. Marlen Rust spoke of his involvement with the Higher Ground singing in Terre Haute and his faithful attendance at Bloomington, Indiana, singings. Janet Fraembs spoke of his hospitality to all and how he had entertained angels, and was singing with them now. Barb Lund spoke of her introduction to Darrell and how welcoming he was to her. Michele Cull shared stories about how he became part of their family. Joan Aldridge said her first introduction to him was when he noted that he had attended four singings and she was at every one; so she must be quite a singer. They became best friends and were always in touch with one another so if one didn’t show up at a singing the other became concerned and called.

Virginia Eldridge then spoke for the following sick and shut-ins and led 351: Gary Gronau, Melanie Hauff, Michael Appert, Karen Hojnacki, Doris Steinmetz, Idy Kiser, and Beegee Rechenberg. She then spoke for the following deceased and led 298: Darrell Swarens and John Harder (husband of a dear friend)—Indiana; Berkley Moore, Ann Sleeva, and John Meeks—Illinois; Steve Helwig—Oregon; Donna Schleifer and Daphene Causey—Alabama; Hugh McGraw—Georgia; Julie Vea—Wisconsin. Adrian Eldridge closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Lori Graber led Table Grace, 164 (MH), followed by prayer by Aaron Jones.


Presley Barker called the class back to order leading 276. Leaders: Michael Moseley 157; William Shetter “The Mercy Seat”; Shirley Figura 299; Michele Cull 236; Annaliza Cull 268; Curtis Cook 27 (MH); Virginia Eldridge 481; Ray Rechenberg 448t; Don Bardsley 142 (MH); Shannon Tibbs 277; James Eldridge 567; Beth Garfinkle 188; Tim Gregg 122; Katherine Eldridge 384; Tom Morton 209; John Hoerr 208; Joan Aldridge 217; Adrian Eldridge, John Wiens, and Tim Gregg 505; Annaliza Cull 504.


Lori Graber brought the class back together by leading 111b. Leaders: Presley Barker 474; Michele Cull 300; John Wiens 77t; Jim Helke 86; Peggy Brayfield 294; Tim Morton 424; Eloise Clark 44; Aaron Jones 338; Zachary Davis 413; Ginny Landgraf 160 (MH); Bob Cull 569b; Mark Graber 503; James Eldridge and Adrian Eldridge 145 (MH); John Wiens 406; Virginia Eldridge 549; Katherine Eldridge 361; the Cull family (Michele, Bob, Annaliza, and Brenda Waters) 515.

Following announcements, Lori Graber led 347. The class was dismissed with prayer offered by Mark Graber.

Chairmen—Lori Graber and Virginia Eldridge; Secretary—Janet Fraembs