Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Alabama State Convention

Mt. Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church
Birmingham, Alabama

November 27-28, 1999

Saturday, November 27

The one hundredth session of the Alabama State Sacred Harp Convention was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Jeff Sheppard leading song on page 37b. Elder Edwin Farris offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Chairman Jeff Sheppard 65; Vice Chairman Henry Johnson 48t; Secretaries Jewel Wootten and Linda Thomas 56t; Harrison Creel 348 (t? b?); Connie Karduck 441; Louis Hughes, Sr. 403; Don Bowen 350; Willie Mae Moon 402; Rodney Ivey 99; Cassie Franklin 475; Jeannette DePoy and Bud Oliver 39b; Buell Cobb 138b; Elder Edwin Farris 285t; Linton Ballinger and Lomax Ballinger 299; Erskine Vandegrift 63; Beth Todd 101t; Tim Cook 448t; Bonnie Flowers 229; Kelly House 362; David Hough 33b; Seth Holloway 388.


Henry Johnson brought the class together leading song on page 56b. Leaders: Judy Mincey 538; Everette Denney 405; Carol Buche 143; Terry Hogg 212; Beverly Coates 150; Jenny Willard 434; Jon Gregg 84; Karen Hojnacki 480; Jerry Enright 300; Laura Akerman 224; Matt Wells 503; Lee Rogers 211; Samuel Sommers 386; Lynne deBenedette 442; Bob Meek 454; Karen House 306; Joe Todd 383; Michele Cull 36b.


The singing resumed with Rodney Ivey leading song on page 146. Leaders: Laura Clawson 282; Berkley Moore 473; Christine Stevens 277; Jim Solheim 218; Katharine Hough 496; Jeff Bell 34t; Karen Buche 421; John Redman 236; Amber Springfield 391; Leon Ballinger and Larry Ballingeer 110; Brenda Waters 68b; Earlis McGraw 414; Martha Henderson 57; Gary Gronau 137 (for Virgil Phillips). Elder Edwin Farris welcomed everyone. Harrison Creel offered the blessing on the noon meal.


The afternoon session was called to order by Dennis George leading song on page 32t. Leaders: Thomas Willard 155; Felicia Stevens 421; Reba Dell Windom 192; Elder Ricky Harcrow 145t.

A business session was held for the purpose of electing officers with the following elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Glenn Keeton; Secretaries—Linda Thomas and Elene Stovall; Chaplain—Harrison Creel; Arranging Committee—Max Berueffy, Jackie Tanner, and Cindy Franklin; Memorial Committee—Ruth Brown, Becky Browne, and Charlene Wallace; Finance Committee—Don Bowen, Willie Mae Moon, and Rodney Ivey; Resolutions Committee—Sarah Harcrow, Bud Oliver, and Jim Carnes. The business session was closed.

Leaders: Henry Johnson 326; Bob Cull 178; Denise Morris 528; Sarah Harcrow 159; Ted Mercer 564; Roberta Goodell 547; Louis Hughes, Jr. 411; Richard DeLong 320; Charlene Wallace 347; Reed Coates 220; B.M. Smith 73t; Bruce Coates 535; John Etheridge 74b; Karen Freund 378b; Keith Willard 80t; Charles Franklin 117; Daryl Mayberry Chesney and Richard Chesney 87; Estelle Flowers 345b; Dennis George “Beulah Land” (by request of Virgil Phillips).


Cindy Franklin and Shelbie Sheppard called the class together leading song on page 269. Leaders: Travis Keeton 482; Jarrod George 274 (t? b?); Josie Hyde 240; John Hyde 275b; Jenni Wallace-Grate 515; Dewayne Hawthorne 426t; Elder J.L. Hopper 225b; Syble Adams 171; Duane Chesney 45t; Myra Dalton 47t; Glenn Keeton 572; Ann Jett 327; Tim Gilmore 189; Judy Caudle 180; Jim Carnes 162; Mary Holcombe, Emily Holcombe, Ryan Hale, Adam Hale, Jennifer Allred, Rachel Allred, and Will Allred 354b.

Henry Johnson and Glenn Keeton led song on page 290 for Ruby Phillips who is in the hospital. Elder Ricky Harcrow dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, November 28

The Sunday morning session began with Chairman Henry Johnson leading song on page 59. The morning prayer was led by Elder Charles Farris.

Leaders: Vice Chairman Glenn Keeton 411; Secretaries Linda Thomas and Elene Stovall 217; Chaplain Harrison Creel 498; Cindy Franklin, Jackie Tanner, Max Berueffy, and Bud Oliver 270; Rodney Ivey and Don Bowen 186; Willie Mae Moon 402; Felicia Stevens 146; Eloise Watkins 426b; Gary Smith 31t; Daphene Causey 200; David Ivey 394; Becky Browne 304 (for Marie Aldridge); Sarah Smith 129; Nate Green and Norma Green 135; Betty Wright 454; Mattie Townsel 313t; Terry Hullett 37b; Darlene Dalton 503.


Henry Johnson brought the class to order leading song on page 201. Leaders: Mary Smith 383; Duncan Vinson 296; Sarah Harcrow and Jim Carnes 436; Milton Oliver and Alanna Blanks 496; Allison Ivey 546; Thomas Willard 36b; Jarrod George 300; Stuart Ivey 189; Reed Coates 492; Tim Dalton 33b; Richard Ivey 222; April Hall 30t; Cassie Franklin 224; Gavin Blakeley 30b; Amber Springfield 34b; Shane Wootten 29t; Teenie Moody and Tom McGraw 268.


The class was called to order by Glenn Keeton leading song on page 475. Leaders: Hershell King 176b; Thurman Nall 523b; Eloise Clark and Joyce Cauthen 276; John Bealle and Jim Cauthen 522; B.J. Harris 303; Leola Smith 318; Marlon Wootten 441; Charles Woods 210; Cecile Cox 282; Chita Blakeley 362; Toney Smith 69t; Lora Cargo 490.

The memorial lesson was presented by Ruth Brown and Becky Browne. Becky Browne invited each of us to remember those who have passed on before us and what they meant to Sacred Harp singings, and then read the list of names of the deceased: Flossie Jones, Vester Jones, Lindberg Lacy, Cecil Gilliland, and Dr. Clyde Terrell—Alabama; Florence Williams, Horace DeLong, Mary Francis Dannals, and Roxy Duffy—Georgia; Joe Nelson—Texas; Bob Moran—Illinois; Howard Rush and Richard Allison—Indiana; Sara Barnes—Kentucky; Gerrit Van Eysden—Holland. Becky Browne and Ruth Brown led song on page 195 for the deceased.

Ruth Brown stated that Sacred Harp singers are a unique group in that Sacred Harp music touches all of our lives in different ways, and it brings us together to fellowship with one another. Ruth Brown read the names of the sick and shut-ins. Those remembered: Dollie Hudgins, Mozelle Sheppard, I.V. McWhorter, Felton Denney, Vivian Rogers, and Lonnie Rogers—Georgia; Verla Ross—Florida; Dot Garber and Susan Garber—Connecticut; Charles Scudder—Nebraska; Martha Lang—Indiana; Jap Walton, Joyce Walton, Ruby Phillips, Virgil Phillips, Rebecca Johnson, Woodie Walker, Elsie Beasley, Annette Flippo, Lawrence Underwood, Lula Underwood, Warren Mason, Arnell Henry, and Ms. Mimms—Alabama.

Jeff Sheppard led song on page 455 for Jap and Joyce Walton. Ruth Brown and Becky Browne led songs on pages 340 and 285t to honor the sick and shut-ins. Louis Hughes, Sr. closed the memorial with prayer.

Leaders: Bruce Coates, Beverly Coates, and Reed Coates 66.


The afternoon session was called to order by Matt Wells leading song on page 49b. Leaders: Wanda Capps 142; George Cox 569b; Evelyn Harris 47t; Coy Ivey and Karen Ivey 384; J.A. Mosley 365; Susan Harcrow 269.

A business session was held for the purpose of hearing reports.

Sarah Harcrow gave the Resolutions Committee report.

On behalf of the entire class of the one hundredth annual Alabama State Sacred Harp Convention, we offer hearty thanks to all those who have made this convention possible:

(1) To Almighty God, for the gift of life, health, music, and fellowship;

(2) Our forbears who have preserved this tradition through the generations;

(3) The members and pastors of Mt. Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church for opening their doors to us;

(4) Everyone who had a hand in preparing the bountiful meals and refreshments;

(5) The officers and committees of the convention for their able leadership;

(6) Those who came from far and near, and to those who arranged or provided for their accommodations;

(7) The local singers who once again have made us all feel at home.

Respectfully submitted: Bud Oliver, Jim Carnes, and Sarah Harcrow.

Shelbie Sheppard gave the report for the “Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings”. Balance on hand as of November 20, 1998, $11,708.26; deposit of $551.50; balance on hand as of January 20, 1998 was $12,259.76. Printing of book for 1998-1999—$4,858.45; postage/mailing supplies for books $796.01. Balance (after expenses) on hand as of January 28, 1999—$6,605.30; deposits for 1999—$7,841.00. Balance on hand as of November 24, 1999—$14,446.30. A motion was made, seconded, and approved to accept this report.

Jeff Sheppard discussed the new organization which had been formed to promote Sacred Harp music, the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association. A proposal was made to the Convention to place the handling of the “Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings” under this organization. A discussion was held. A motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved to accept the proposal.

Linda Thomas gave the Convention Financial Report. Balance brought forward $1,740.61; collection $917.00; total $2,657.61. Supplies $124.37; chicken $77.72; B-B-Q $100.00; gift to church $250.00; cleaning of church $75.00; minutes $60.00. Total expenses $687.09. Balance (after expenses) $1,970.52. A motion was made, seconded, and approved to accept the report as given.

Elene Stovall reported that over the two-day period: 188 songs were led; 245 leaders led; and 21 states were represented.

The business session was closed.

Leaders: Jeff Sheppard, Shelbie Sheppard, Pam Nunn 448t; Jerry Enright 77t; Samuel Sommers 112; Joe Todd and Beth Todd 373; Charles Franklin 480; Karen Buche and Carol Buche 99; Linton Ballinger and Leon Ballinger 208; Karen Freund and Lynne deBenedette 42.


B.M. Smith brought the class to order leading song on page 448b. Leaders: David Hough and Katharine Hough 128; Laura Clawson, Kelly House, and Karen House 61; Freeman Wootten and Marlon Wootten 48b; Roberta Goodell 228; Keith Willard and Jenny Willard 460; Robert Cull, Michelle Cull, Bob Meek, Denise Morris, and Brenda Waites 312b; Estelle Flowers and Bonnie Flowers 172; Louis Hughes, Sr. and Reba Dell Windom 196; John Redman 358; Connie Karduck 456; Judy Mincey, Lee Rogers, and Laura Akerman 540; Shelley Davis, Flarce Creel, Cindy Franklin, Wanda Capps, Cassie Franklin, and Harrison Creel 39b; Jeff Bell, Martha Henderson, and Christine Stevens 497; Berkley Moore 215; Jim Solheim, Jim Wood, and Jenni Wallace-Grate 532; Ruth Brown and Rodney Ivey 182; Edith Tate and Bud Oliver 73t; Joan Aldridge and Elene Stovall 198; Margie Smith and Nancy Allen 512.

Henry Johnson, Glenn Keeton, and Harrison Creel led song on page 62 as the closing song, and those who wished took the parting hand. Harrison Creel dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—Henry Johnson; Vice Chairman—Glenn Keeton; Secretaries—Linda Thomas and Elene Stovall.