Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Union Musical Convention

Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia

August 28-29, 1999

Saturday, August 28

The one hundred thirty-first session of the Union Musical Sacred Harp singing convention was called to order by Richard DeLong leading songs on pages 138t and 104. The morning prayer was offered by Eric Tweedy. Chairman Richard DeLong led song on page 177; Secretary/Treasurer Helen Bryson 138b, 205, 102.

Kenneth DeLong led the following songs for the introductory lesson: 80b, 81t, 87, 171, 282, 283, 318, 303, 316, and 530.

Leaders: Loy Garrison 441, 498, 99; Bobby Cagle 34b, 405.


Richard DeLong called the class back to order leading song on page 437b.

On orderly motion, the convention entered into a business session. The following officers were elected or appointed: Chairman—Loy Garrison; Vice Chairman—John Plunkett; Secretary/Treasurer—Helen Bryson; Chaplain—Bobby Cagle; Finance Committee—Don Bowen and Lee Rogers; Memorial Committee—Jack Smith and Judy Mincey; Arranging Committee—Richard DeLong and Faye Pettis; Locating Committee—Kenneth DeLong; Resolutions Committee—Eric Tweedy.

Leaders: Eric Tweedy 84, 183, 348t; Jack Corley 168, 336, 430; Loy Garrison 317; Lee Rogers 35, 163b, 270; Ray Richards 339, 490, 119.


John Plunkett called the class to order by leading song on page 52t. Leaders: Otis Hester 383, 434, 195; Polly Hester 137, 145t, 480; Don Bowen 40, 46, 155; Hugh McGraw 111b, 531, 53; Jack Smith 147t, 515, 299; Laura Akerman 338, 70b, 113.


The class was called to order by Loy Garrison leading song on page 510. Leaders: John Plunkett 511, 50t, 499; Judy Mincey 34t, 368, 538; Faye Pettis 67, 105, 343 (for Violet Thomason and Herman Thomason); Andy Anderson 50b, 31b, 31t; Charles Deering 178.

Announcements were made. Loy Garrison led song on page 62 as the closing song. Bobby Cagle dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, August 29

The day of singing began with Chairman Loy Garrison leading songs on pages 59 and 75. Bobby Cagle led the morning prayer.

Leaders: John Plunkett 539; Ray Richards 73b, 45t; Mary Lou Cagle 460, 340, 139; Dollie Hudgins 82t, 61; Vaudie Shearer 343, 143, 294; Bobby Cagle 381b, 43, 566; Lee Rogers 164, 73t, 475 (for Scott and Jeannette DePoy).


The class was called to order by John Plunkett leading song on page 78. Leaders: Judy Mincey 365, 474; Eric Tweedy 358, 217, 300; Faye Pettis 383, 30 (t? b?), 549b; Jack Corley 123b, 421.

The Memorial Lesson was led by Judy Mincey. Judy shared from her heart how much Sacred Harp has come to mean to her, in part, as a result of having known and sung with these deceased that we remember at this time. Those remembered this year include: Horace DeLong, Richard Allison, and Elder Roy Avery. Judy Mincey led song on page 510 for the deceased.

Dianne Walls led song on page 50b for the sick and shut-ins which included: John Bailey—Illinois; Vivian Rogers, Euna DeLong, Gert DeLong, Regina Cagle, Mozelle Sheppard, Violet Thomason, Herman Thomason, and Elder Roy Davis—Georgia; Charlotte Allison, Virgil Phillips, and Ruby Phillips—Alabama. The memorial was closed with prayer by Bobby Cagle.


The class was called to order by Loy Garrison leading song on page 74b. Leaders: Richard DeLong 482, 395, 362; Charles Deering 524; Susan Posey 66, 497, 503; Hugh McGraw and Brady DeLong 36b, 423, 317; Helen Bryson 131b, 163t, 456; Charlene Wallace 192, 201; Don Bowen 231, 229, 228 (for Syd Caldwell); Laura Akerman 543, 200, 499.


The class was called to order by Loy Garrison leading song on page 410 (t? b?). Leaders: Bonnie Flowers 347 (for her sister, June Smith), 47t; Otis Hester 542, 498, 203, 269; Dianne Walls 159, 483, 100; Frances Mary D’Andrea 326, 551, 290; Kenneth DeLong 568, 548.

The class was called into business session to hear the following reports.

Locating Committee—Big Creek Primitive Baptist Church has been granted to host the convention to be held on the fifth Sunday and Saturday before in July, 2000.

Finance Committee—The collection for both days was $126.50. Before expenses, the total on account was $3,133.34. After expenses the total on account is $3,099.84.

Resolutions Committee—The One Hundred Thirty First Meeting of the Union Musical Convention in convention these 28th and 29th days of August, A.D., 1999, WITNESSETH:

WHEREAS: The tradition of shape note singing has survived on this continent for more than 200 years; and

WHEREAS: During those two centuries, countless thousands of souls have been supported, strengthened, and inspired by the divine poetry of the Christian faith set with music suitable for the uplifting of the heart and the human spirit; and

WHEREAS: The Sacred Harp has for 155 of those years comprised a collection of the finest specimens of the tune writers art representing all that is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy; and

WHEREAS: The fellowship, kindness, and camaraderie of Sacred Harp singing are openly available to all who would partake regardless of age, race, gender, or experience; and

WHEREAS: We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses of those who have gone before, who sought the old paths and walked therein, who through a community that transcends the bounds of time and place continue to teach us how to walk even today; and

WHEREAS: The Union Musical Convention has propagated the Sacred Harp tradition through annual conventions for the past 130 years; and

WHEREAS: The loving memory of those Sacred Harp singers that have been members of this convention but who now wait for us to join them forms in us a sacred obligation to celebrate their memory by continuing in their means of expression of faith;

THEREFORE be it resolved by this Convention and all present:

That the Union Musical Convention continue to carry forward the tradition of Sacred Harp singing by meeting annually for that purpose; That all present and associated with the Convention strive to perpetuate not only the tradition of Sacred Harp singing but also the spirit of goodwill and faith that attends it;

That we honor those who delivered this heritage to us by passing the tradition down to succeeding generations;

That we honor our Creator, not only through our singing, but also through our care and love for each other;

RESOLVED this 29th day of August, A.D. 1999;

To GOD be the praise and the honor and the glory forever. Amen.

Submitted by: Eric Tweedy.

The reports were accepted into the minutes. Announcements were made.

Loy Garrison and John Plunkett led the closing song on page 56t. The class was dismissed with prayer by Charles Cagle.

Chairman—Loy Garrison; Vice Chairman—John Plunkett; Secretary—Helen Bryson.