Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Labor Day Singing

Shoal Creek Church, Cleburne County, Alabama

Monday, September 2, 2019

The 99th session of the annual Labor Day Sacred Harp singing was held on the first Monday in September at Shoal Creek Church in Talladega National Forest, Cleburne County, Alabama. Cecil Roberts welcomed everyone in attendance, then called the class to order leading 30t. Johnathan Kelso offered the opening prayer. Cecil Roberts led 32t.

Leaders: Virginia Dyer 37b, 61 (in memory of Robby Rivers); Donna Bell 186 (in memory of Eugene Forbes), 549 (in memory of Robby Rivers); Judy Chambless 318, 222; Glenda Collins 63, 454; Canaan Elkins and Katie Elkins 35, 417; Winfred Kerr 480; Johnathan Kelso 317, 156; Cornelia Van den Doel 551, 442; Jack Nelson 228, 560; Fallon Dyer 47b, 112.


Virginia Dyer called the class to order by leading 340. Leaders: Philip Denney and Gayle Denney 73t, 99; Robert Chambless 84; Richard Delong 77b (in honor of Charlene Wallace), 399b (in memory of his grandmother, Dollie Hudgins); John O’Flynn 155, 183; Andy Ditzler 288, 338; Rene Greene 273, 142; Desmond O’Flynn 300, 515.

A business session was held with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Vice Chairman—Virginia Dyer; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Judy Chambless. The class voted to have the minutes printed in the minutes book and not order them for the singing next year. Cecil Roberts thanked everyone who had made preparations for lunch, especially Rene Greene, Virginia Dyer, and Donna Bell. Cecil also expressed his appreciation and gratitude of those who came to sing for Robby Rivers’ funeral service on Friday. It meant so much to Robby’s family. The business session was closed.

Leaders: Philip Denney and Dawn Cook 503; Lucie O’Flynn 209, 274t; Amber Davis 212, 192; Sarah Trumbore 208; David Carlton 547, 421; David Brodeur 354t, 497; Tom Booth 475, 523; Frances Jones and Les Jones 45t.

Joe Jones from the Shoal Creek Church Preservation Society spoke to the class. He began with words about the history Cane Creek Church, which is the oldest church in Cleburne County, established in 1834. He related that he came across an article in a 1929 Cleburne newspaper reporting on that year’s Sacred Harp singing in this old building. The writer reported in his article that this singing began nine years earlier—in 1920. This is the 100th renewal of that singing. The church, however, is much older than that. This building was built in 1895. Mr. Jones mentioned that several members of the Society worked at the church on Saturday. Mr. Jones welcomed everyone to the singing. Shane Brown offered the blessing of the noon meal at the tables.


Cecil Roberts conducted the memorial lesson immediately after the noon hour. The deceased remembered were Ruth Daniel and Eugene Forbes—Alabama; Mildred Patterson and Robby Rivers—Georgia. The sick and shut-ins honored were Rozlyn Greene, Norma Mincey, Judy Mincey, Lucy Garner, Ottis Sides, and Charlene Wallace. Cecil Roberts led 76b, then closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Daniel Williams 218, 270; Oscar McGuire 276, 336; Linda Booth 198, 489; Claire O’Flynn 66, 335; Shane Brown 373, 49b; Karis Askew 448b, 148; Samuel Williams and Johnathon Kelso 165; Samuel Williams 160b; Gary Davis 426t, 565; Bert Collins 542, 277; Fallon Dyer and John O’Flynn 294, 358; Cornelia Van dan Doel, Andy Ditzler, David Brodeur, Tom Booth, and Linda Booth 319; Desmond O’Flynn, Claire O’Flynn, John O’Flynn, and Lucie O’Flynn 229; Johnathon Kelso 329 (for Jason Higginbotham, and in memory of Arthel Higginbotham); Isaac Green 476; Isaac Green, Fallon Dyer, and Amber Davis 269.

Cecil Roberts thanked the class for their generous contributions. The class elected to publish the minutes in the book and donate the remainder of the minute money to the Shoal Creek Church Preservation Society. Announcements were made. Cecil Roberts, Donna Bell, Fallon Dyer, and Cornelia Van dan Doel led 62 as the closing song. Daniel Williams offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Vice Chairman—Virginia Dyer; Secretary—Donna Bell