Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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National Sacred Harp Convention

Birmingham Square Dance Association Friendship Hall,
Fultondale, Alabama

June 15-17, 2017

Thursday, June 15

The 38th session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Mark Davis leading 129. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the morning prayer. The business session was held next. Gaston White and Hubert Nall have retired as vice chairmen. Officers were elected as follows: Chairman—Mark Davis; Vice Chairmen—Buell Cobb and Glenn Keeton; Secretaries—Cheryl Foreman and Kathy Williams; Chaplain—Jesse Roberts. Committees were appointed as follows: Arranging Committee—Helen Brown, Sonny Erwin, Elizabeth Stoddard, Mary Whitehurst, and Susan Cherones; Memorial Committee—Rebecca Over and Rick Foreman; Finance Committee—Ted Brown and Randy Webber; Resolutions Committee—Dorothea Maynard and Marlin Beasley.

Leaders: Gaston White 155; Buell Cobb 52t; Glenn Keeton 349; Kathy Williams 212; Cheryl Foreman 492; Jesse Roberts 430; Helen Brown 422; Sonny Erwin 472; Rick Foreman 31b; Randy Webber 120; Dorothea Maynard 442; Ted Brown 59; Richard Mauldin 43; Cora Sweatt 49b; Winfred Kerr 500; Judy Chambless 549; Lisa Geist 269; Jim Aaron 47b; Karen Clark 70t; Jack Nelson 527; Pamela Rosser 142.


The class was brought together by Marlin Beasley leading 318. Leaders: Jenny Acton 340; Robert Chambless 225t; Gwynn Matthews 225b; Sandra Wilkinson 311; Corissa Sweatt 345t; Bella Keeton and Glenn Keeton 282; Lance Phillips 377; Nancy Van den Akker 189; Derek Buckland 39t; Charles Smelley 426b; Sara Sandberg 144; Frank Griggs 272; Molly Bagley 122; Karen Matthews 569b; Larry Brashear 512; Ginnie Ely 196; Jason Lindler 106; Susie Dixon 477; Sue Bunch 163b; Jonathan Surrency 213t; Bea Aaron 456; Inga Huebner 56b; Eric Sandberg 299; Gillian Inksetter 447; Daniel Lee 566; Lisa Bennett 538; Elizabeth Stoddard 197; Chris Brown 392; Dick Naill 383; Eugene Forbes 384; Becky Briggs 405. Jesse Roberts asked the blessing before lunch.


The class was brought back to order by Ted Brown leading 111b. Leaders: Wendy Anderson 112; David Smead 548; Rebecca Over 74t; Dan Brittain 302; Lela Crowder 157; Cindy Tanner 436; Joel Bassett 564; Larry Ballinger 56t; Ruth Wampler 227; Emily Brown 434; David Ivey 406; Margaret Gillanders 546; Joanna Bennett 217; Robert Stoddard 573; Elene Stovall 498; Andy Ditzler 58; Amber Davis 214; Judy Whiting 105; Stanley Smith 147b; Julie Van Duzer 148; David Brodeur 314; Katie Kellert 146; Susan Cherones 300; Jonathon Smith 296; Charlotte Ehrman 479; Melissa Musick Nussbaum 565; Aldo Ceresa 439; Pat Morse 551; Nathan Rees 166; Mary Whitehurst 65; Nicholas Thompson 192; Morgan Bunch 540; Chris Green 277; Sarah Beasley 145b.

Mark Davis led 69t to close the singing for the day. The class was dismissed with prayer offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Friday, June 16

The Friday session of the National Convention was brought to order by Mark Davis leading 153. The morning prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts. Leaders: Glenn Keeton 86; Hubert Nall 61; Buell Cobb 462; Kathy Williams 481; Cheryl Foreman 187; Helen Brown 411; Sonny Erwin 480; Elizabeth Stoddard 171; Rick Foreman 131b; Rebecca Over 399b; Randy Webber 290; Dorothea Maynard 304; Ted Brown 176t; Marlin Beasley 448t; Steve Daniel 276; Billy See and Vickie See 33b; Henry Guthery 431; Brandon Acton 460; Zilpha Cornett 313b; Micah Roberts 204.


The class was called back together by Linda Thomas leading 217. Leaders: Arlon Gardner 285t; Delone Cobbs and Christopher Mann 551; Nancy Van den Akker 344; Jesse Roberts and Daphene Causey 245; Gresham Davis 76b; Anna Hinton 383; Kerry Cullinan and Donna Carlson 378t; Nate Green and Norma Green 354t; Chris Parris 206; Ann Riley 186; Linda Berkemeier 143.


Helen Brown brought the class together leading 113. Leaders: Judy Mincey 367; Gene Pinion 144; Gail Doss 112; Derek Buckland 28b; David Smead 516; Nelly Nixon 335; Mary Skidmore 142; Leslie Alperin 268; Charles McCravy 145t; Judy Whiting 208; David Carlton 528; Joyce Heath 318; Charles Smelley 354b; Eugene Forbes 302. The blessing before lunch was led by Elder Jesse Roberts.


The class was brought to order by Helen Brown leading 270. Leaders: Sue Bunch 203; Jonathan Surrency 455; Dan Brittain 138t; Lisa Bennett 353; Anne Steel 289; SuNell Ellis and Jonathon Smith 532; Matt Hinton 542; Chita Blakeley 500; Aldo Ceresa 419; Sharon DuPriest 216; Justin Bowen 456; Lauren Bock 546; Robert Stoddard 454; Jim Carnes 436; Judy Caudle 389; Warren Steel 205; Joanna Bennett 390; Darlene Dalton 309; Jesse Karlsberg 377; Chris Brown 134; Amber Davis 234; Andy Ditzler and David Brodeur 200; Stanley Smith 273; Inga Huebner 193; Richard Mauldin 168; Jenny Acton 358; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 440; Mark Davis 236.

Mark Davis led 69t to close the day. The class was dismissed with prayer offered by Marlin Beasley.

Saturday, June 17

The Saturday session of the National Convention was brought to order by Mark Davis leading 147b. Leaders: Glenn Keeton 163b; Gaston White 66; Hubert Nall 129; Buell Cobb 27; Jesse Roberts 368; Kathy Williams 77b; Cheryl Foreman 475; Helen Brown 432; Sonny Erwin 282; Dorothea Maynard 383; Ted Brown 68b; Marlin Beasley 348b; Rebecca Over 378b; Rick Foreman 63; Jim Aaron 503; Billy See and Vickie See 178; Sarah Beasley 340; Brandon Acton 168; Judy Chambless 472; Linda Thomas 373; David Carlton 278b.


The class was called back to order by Kathy Williams leading 37b. Leaders: Bea Aaron 568; Leslie Alperin 320; Cora Sweatt 45t; Bentley Rose 354b; Micah Roberts 384; Carolyn Bonifay 143; Karen Matthews 445; Arlon Gardner 278t; Charlotte Ehrman 365; Pat Morse 235; Robert Chambless 452; Judy Mincey 279; Winfred Kerr 36b; Corissa Sweatt 59; Ann Riley 142; Henry Johnson 213b.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Rebecca Over and Rick Foreman. The last of Rebecca’s comments are included here. “The international nature of this convention, which brings together people from all over the world for singing and fellowship, is a tribute to Hugh McGraw and the others who organized the first session in 1980. The most fitting tribute that we can give to Hugh, and to all those who sing together in that better land, is for all of us to sing as often as we can for as many years as we can to the very best of our abilities. We are their living legacy.” The list of deceased is as follows: George Snyder, Hugh McGraw, Geneva Prichard, Mary Jean Avery Payne, B.M. Smith, Johnny Lee, Delorese Lee—Georgia; Bill Davis, Edna Ruth Phillips, Calvin Phillips, Gary Smith, Gravis Ballinger, Christine Price Keeble, Daphine Keeble, Steve Adams, Kermit Adams, Otis Hand, Ana Hand, Levon Wootten—Alabama; Jimmy Foreman, Marjorie Dawson, Elizabeth Marie Nussbaum, Jane Goforth—Texas; Bob Bonnell and Joe Nall—Florida; Betty Hanpf and Mildred Sensor—Pennsylvania; John Bayer—Ohio; Keith McAdam—Kentucky; Pat Colterahn and Timothy Grannis—Vermont; Helen Beauchamp—Tennessee; Stites Gardner, Jr., and Billie Margaret Gardner—Mississippi; Chris Holloway—Germany; Jean McDonald, Ruth Steggles, Don Grimshaw, Ros Taylor, Gordon Hoyland, Norman Johnson, Winifred Elliott—United Kingdom. Rebecca Over led 570 in memory of the deceased.

Rick Foreman led 330b for the sick and homebound. The memorial lesson was closed with prayer offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Mary Whitehurst 515; Myra Dalton and Gary Glover 313b; Susie Denson 388; Daniel Bearden 285b. Jesse Roberts asked a blessing before the noon meal.


The class was called to order by Jesse Roberts leading 57. Leaders: Becky Briggs 179; Darlene Reynolds 490; Gail Doss and Alicia Germany 299; Rodney Ivey 30b; Margaret Gillanders 391; Ginnie Ely 228; Judy van Duzer 29t; Susan Cherones 564; Terry Wootten 83t; Beth Branscome 546; Mary Shoulders and John Shoulders 288; Helen Brown, Ronnie Robbins, Karen Matthews, and Deborah Shifflett 64; Micah Roberts 481; Corissa Sweatt and Jonathan Sweatt 101t; Rebecca Over 176t; Margaret Gillanders 30t; Ted Brown 97.

The committee reports were heard in the afternoon business session. The Secretary reported that 387 people registered for the convention over the three days, representing twenty states, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Germany. There were 231songs led by 139 leaders. The breakdown of states and countries is as follows: Alabama-215; Georgia-35; Florida-12; Tennessee-10; Mississippi-7; Texas-5; New York-5; Pennsylvania-5; Colorado-5; Maine-3; South Carolina-2; Maryland-2; Vermont-2; Illinois-2; Oregon-2; Arkansas-1; Louisiana-1; Kentucky-1; Michigan-1; New Mexico-1; United Kingdom-7; Canada-4; Ireland-1; Germany-1.

The Resolutions Committee made the following report: We the Resolutions Committee for the 38th annual National Sacred Harp Convention hereby resolve to thank our Heavenly Father for his grace, spirit, and strength to glorify his name in Sacred Harp singing. We thank Glenn Keeton, whose efforts gifted us with being able to gather here at BSDA Friendship Hall, Fultondale, Alabama. We wish to dedicate this resolution to Gary Smith, who so faithfully and lovingly presented the resolutions to the class for several years. We thank the officers of the convention for their efforts, as well as everyone who brought food, served drinks, set-up tables, and cleaned. Thank you to Sarah Beasley and Seth Holloway for hosting the social at their home. Thanks to all of those who traveled from near and far to sing songs of praise. Without all of you this convention would not be possible. Respectfully submitted, Marlin Beasley and Dorothea Maynard.

The Finance Committee reported that the expenses for the convention were met. The business session was closed.

The officers led 62 as the traditional closing song of the convention, and those who wished took the parting hand. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Mark Davis; Vice Chairmen—Buell Cobb and Glenn Keeton; Secretaries—Cheryl Foreman and Kathy Williams