Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church Singing

Abernathy, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The annual Sacred Harp singing at Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, near Abernathy, Cleburne County, Alabama, was held on the third Sunday in April. Sherrell Cleino called the class to order leading 46. Cecil Roberts offered the opening prayer. Sherrell welcomed everyone to the Easter Sunday singing.

Leaders: Glenda Collins 35, 100; Winfred Kerr 314, 282; Donna Bell 480 (in memory of her daddy, George Garner), 163b (in memory of her mother-in-law, Joyce Warren Bell); Barbara Brooks 303, 274b; Bert Collins 274t, 378t; Rebecca Over 415, 290; Cecil Roberts 76b (in memory of Stanly Edwards), 340 (in honor of Lawrence Edwards).

A business session was held with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Sherrell Cleino; Vice Chairman—Winfred Kerr; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Glenda Collins.

Leaders: Ruth Daniel 47t (in memory of all her brothers and sisters Alene Harris, Clellon Warren, Calvin Warren, Nellie Mae White, and Evelyn Harris); Ruth Daniel and Tina Lett 445; Oscar McGuire 515, 34b.


Winfred Kerr brought the class back to order leading 32t and 59. Leaders: Sherrell Cleino 335; Sherrell Cleino and Natasha Wright 294 (in honor of Travis White); Glenda Collins 45t, 101t; Barbara Brooks 457, 68b; Ann Simpson 127, 122; Donna Bell 500 (in memory of Hugh McGraw), 358; Bert Collins 124.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Rebecca Over. Rebecca spoke of those we hold in our thoughts and prayers today, Charlene Wallace, Mildred Patterson, Ottis Sides, Velton Chafin, Virginia Albright Dyer, Lucy Garner, and Louvella “Cooter” Prichard. Rebecca led 70t for the sick and shut-ins.

Rebecca continued, and spoke of the deceased. Many of us knew, loved, and respected Eugene Forbes from his own local singings and from his early morning singings from the Lloyd’s Hymnal at Camp FaSoLa. He touched the lives of many in the USA and beyond. Willodean Barton was a kind, gentle lady who was related to composer O.A. Parris. She spent a good deal of time talking with me at singings in Walker County. Mike Jones was from the Cooper Book singing community in South Alabama. He lived in Opp in Covington County and was one of many Jones family members who made me feel so welcome and at home when I first went to their family singing six years ago. Ruth Ayers was a sister of Louise Holland. Others listed on the deceased list are Joyce Warren Bell—Georgia and Calvin Warren—Alabama. Rebecca led 460. Cecil Roberts closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Oscar McGuire led 37b and 47b. Cecil Roberts announced that after numerous phone calls and discussion, the singing held on the first Sunday in April at Edwardsville Baptist Church that was voted to be discontinued a couple of weeks ago will not be. As of now, we will sing on the first Sunday at Edwardsville Baptist Church in Edwardsville, Alabama, in April, 2020. Cecil Roberts offered the blessing of the noon meal at the table.


The afternoon session of singing began with Winfred Kerr leading 39t. Leaders: Daniel Williams 123b; Emmadene Williams 276; Samuel Williams 68t; Cecil Roberts 403, 40; Oscar McGuire 171, 155; Ann Simpson 388, 354b; Bert Collins 274t, 142; Daniel Williams 129, 405; Emmadene Williams 229; Sherrell Cleino 503 (in memory of her uncle, Billy Joe Harris), 569b (in memory of Billy Joe Harris, and for Mary Jo Shafer); Rebecca Over 111t, 516; Rebecca Over and Winfred Kerr 570; Samuel Williams 107.

Following announcements, Sherrell Cleino led 62 as the closing song, while those who wished took the parting hand. Samuel Williams offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Sherrell Cleino; Vice Chairman—Winfred Kerr; Secretary—Donna Bell