Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Uncle Jack Kerr and Uncle Henry Kerr Memorial

Camp Ground Methodist Church, Cleburne County, Alabama

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The annual Sacred Harp singing honoring the memory of Uncle Jack Kerr and Uncle Henry Kerr was held on the second Sunday in January, at Camp Ground Methodist Church, north of Fruithurst, Alabama. Winfred Kerr, son of Uncle Henry Kerr, welcomed everyone, then called the class to order leading 59. Cecil Roberts offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Winfred Kerr 77b (in memory of Charlene Wallace); Cecil Roberts 303, 235; Glenda Collins 100, 101t; Bert Collins 124, 542; Barbara Brooks 97, 285t (in memory of Ruth Daniel and Rebecca Over). Donna Bell read an excerpt from the Memorial Lesson at the 2015 Crossroads Church Sacred Harp singing where Rebecca Over conducted the lesson. Rebecca stated, “Those we hold most dear never truly leave us, they live on in the kindness they showed, the comforts they shared, and the love they brought into our lives. The hand of the Lord is gentle and although we cannot understand, He comforts with His gentle hand. The hand of the Lord is loving and though it seems our hope is gone, His love brings strength to carry on. The hand of the Lords brings healing and though our hearts are filled with pain, His healing hand brings grace again. May the hand of the Lord and the hands of our friends and loved ones gently touch you with healing peace and love.” These words were first spoken by Berta Tant during the Memorial Lesson at the Mount Zion Memorial singing in 1989. Donna then led 499 (in memory of Rebecca Over), 269 (in honor of Rene Sheppard Greene, Virginia Dyer, and in memory of Shelbie Sheppard); Oscar McGuire 34b, 49b; Winfred Kerr 165.


The class resumed singing with Cecil Roberts leading 49t and 48t. Leaders: Glenda Collins 76b, 77t (in memory of Richard DeLong); Bert Collins 35, 142; Barbara Brooks 72t, 72b; Donna Bell 547, 448t; Oscar McGuire 229, 348b.

A business session was held and the following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Winfred Kerr; Vice Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Secretary—Donna Garner Bell. Winfred Kerr led 65. Cecil Roberts offered the blessing of the noon meal.


Cecil Roberts brought the class to order leading 37b and 89. Leaders: Glenda Collins 87, 109; Bert Collins 82t, 300; Barbara Brooks 138b, 159.

Several members of the Kerr Family attended the memorial singing. Winfred Kerr, (Uncle Henry’s son) stated that he was the only one of nine children that his daddy could get to go to a Sacred Harp singing. Winfred also mentioned that he is the last of his siblings as his only remaining brother had passed away the previous Wednesday. Sarah Roberts, a granddaughter of Uncle Jack Kerr stated, “I remember my Granddaddy Kerr, ‘Uncle Jack’ as the singers called him, leave many a Sunday to go to a singing. He always enjoyed it. He didn’t, I don’t believe he had a child that sang. They could a little; but never to really enjoy it like he did. He truly loved the Sacred Harp.” Sarah went on to say, “When Cecil (Roberts) started singing, my aunt Lois (Kerr Bowman) who passed away a few weeks ago was so excited that Cecil was going to pick up the torch and sing even though he wasn’t a Kerr, she felt like he represented the Kerr Family.” Sarah mentioned that oftentimes when her aunt Irene (Kerr Snow) and aunt Lois were unable to attend singings because of health issues, she would call them on her cell phone and let them listen to some of the singing. Sarah said, “Even though you’re few in number I know that the family appreciates you carrying this singing on.” Emil Bowman, the son of Lois Kerr Bowman, who passed away on November 18, 2021 at the age of 103, was in attendance. Mrs. Bowman was the last surviving child of Uncle Jack Kerr. Jolene Loescher, another granddaughter of Uncle Jack was also present for the memorial honoring her grandfather.

Winfred Kerr and Sarah Roberts led 339 in memory of the Uncle Jack Kerr and Uncle Henry Kerr families. Leaders: Donna Bell 358 (in memory of Hester Edwards), 133 (in memory of Charlene Wallace); Oscar McGuire 515, 163b.

Following the announcements, Winfred Kerr led 294 (in memory of Charlene Wallace) as the closing song. Cecil Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Winfred Kerr; Vice Chairman—Cecil Roberts; Secretary—Donna Garner Bell