Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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McWhorter Memorial

Mars Hill Primitive Baptist Church, Cleburne County, Alabama

October 17, 1999

The annual McWhorter Memorial Sacred Harp Singing was held at Mars Hill Primitive Baptist Church in Cleburne County, Alabama on the third Sunday in October. The class was brought to order by Secretary Mary Florence Smith, in the absence of Chairman Lonnie Rogers and Vice Chairman Johnny Wright, leading song on page 59. Roy Nelson offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Tommy McGraw 37b, 268; Walter Hamrick 74t, 335; Earlis McGraw 42, 56 (t? b?).

The class organized with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Lonnie Rogers; Vice Chairman—Johnny Wright; Secretary—Mary F. Smith; Arranging Committee—Hester Edwards.

Leaders: Lonnie Rogers 101t, 75; George Garner 47t; Johnny Wright 46, 145t; Teenie Moody 126, 317b; Marvin McElroy 155, 112; Roy Nelson 179, 498.


Johnny Wright brought the class to order leading songs on pages 35 and 63. Leaders: Lovella Kerr Campbell 127, 161; Henry Johnson 390, 569b; Ora Johnson 349, 215; Howard McGuire 45t, 392; Floy Wilder 224, 432; Ruth Daniels 178t, 294; Burnese Harper 426 (t? b?), 391 (in memory of Homer Lambert who died 40 years ago today); Mildred McElroy 318, 61; Flora Skinner 434, 318; Joe Jones 147t, 164.

Joe Jones of Huntsville, Alabama gave a short talk on the life of his grandfather, M.F. McWhorter, his family, and his love of Sacred Harp music. M.F. McWhorter sang, taught singing schools, and wrote music, and was on the committee appointed in 1906 by the Sacred Harp Association that revised the present “Original Sacred Harp” that we use today. Mr. Jones spoke of some of the eleven children of M.F. McWhorter who were singers and their children and grandchildren who are now singers.


The afternoon session began with Johnny Wright leading songs on pages 87 and 40. Leaders: Mildred Patterson 146, 119; Katherine Benefield 72 (t? b?), 75; Corene Laminack 334, 445b; McWhorter family 317b; Kerr family 79; Henry Johnson 235; Roy Nelson 436; Walter Hamrick 111t; Lewis Norton 77t, 208, 30b; Celia Sanders 54b, 239 (?); Earlis McGraw 358, 425b.

A short business session was held, and it was voted to have this singing on Saturday before the third Sunday in October, 2000, and thereafter.

Lonnie Rogers led song on page 348b as the closing song. The class was dismissed with prayer led by Elder Lewis Norton.

Chairman—Lonnie Rogers; Vice Chairman—Johnny Wright; Secretary—Mary Florence Smith.