Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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National Sacred Harp Convention

First Christian Church, Birmingham, Alabama

June 18-20, 2015

Thursday, June 18

The 36th session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Mark Davis leading 36b. The opening prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

The Convention then went into business session, with the following officers and committee members elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Mark Davis; Vice Chairmen—Buell Cobb, Gaston, White, and Hubert Nall; Chaplain—Jesse Roberts; Secretaries—Cheryl Foreman and Kathy Williams; Arranging Committee—Helen Brown and Sonny Erwin; Memorial Committee—Mike Hinton and Sharona Nelson; Finance Committee—Buell Cobb and Randy Webber; Resolutions Committee—Pat Temple and Gary Smith; Location Committee—Hubert Nall.

Leaders: Gaston White 99; Hubert Nall 475; Kathy Williams 147b; Cheryl Foreman 492; Helen Brown 313t; Sonny Erwin 489; Buell Cobb 52t; Jesse Roberts 275b; Gary Smith 344; Judy Chambless 318; Samuel Wright 67; Richard Mauldin 43; Daniel Lee 565; Henry Guthery 549; Cora Beasley Sweatt 72b; Randy Webber 180; Robert Chambless 225t.


The class was called back to order by Sonny Erwin leading 128. Leaders: Jack Nelson 480; Becky Briggs 204; Jack Pate 569b; Catherine Brown 473; Glenn Keeton 86; Bea Aaron 456; Douglas Fower 112; Henry Johnson 230; Virginia Douglas 159; Steve Adams 101t; Jim Aaron 47b; Sarah Trumbore 171; Sarah Beasley 340; Arlon Gardner 70b.


The class was recalled by Kathy Williams leading 37b. Leaders: Chita Blakely 377; Bruce Voyles 34b; Matthew Keeton and Isabella Keeton 282; Claire Davis 345t; Corissa Sweatt, Jonathan Sweatt, and Hayley Beasley 145b, 45t; J.R. Hardman 547; Steve Helwig 423; Pam Minor and Gill Minor 178; Andy Ditzler 73t; Rosalind Oldham 66; David Ivey 540; Doug Conn 441. The lunch blessing was returned by Elder Jesse Roberts.


Glenn Keeton called the class together by leading 270. Leaders: Richard Schmeidler 271t; Billy See 108b; Amber Davis 192; Vicki Elliott 155; Nathan Rees 96; Pam Nunn and Sharon DuPriest 189; Ted Brown 119; Emily Brown 436; Dan Brittain 371; Anne Heider 273; Jesse Karlsberg 392; Mike Hinton 373; Margaret Gillanders 542; Gillian Inksetter and Idy Kiser 224; Aldo Ceresa 411; Steve Warner 474; Gary Padgett 442; Lauren Bock 208; Jonathon Smith 220; Frank Griggs 425; Linda Thomas 106; Ginnie Ely 349; Nathan Stewart 319; Rebecca Over 74t; David Brodeur 428.


Mark Davis brought the class together leading 88t. Leaders: Charlotte Ehrman 486; Susan Cherones 65; Pat Temple 232; Frances Miller 138t; Rosemary Greenaway 384; Adam Brasich 39t; Wendy Anderson 300; Daniel Bearden 72t; Leslie Booher 163b; Laura McMurray 512; Isaac Montgomery Sligh 288; Dorothea Maynard 361. Elder Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer.

Friday, June 19

The Friday session of the National Convention was brought to order by Mark Davis leading 42. The morning prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts. Leaders: Gaston White 148; Hubert Nall 168; Buell Cobb 275t; Kathy Williams 191; Cheryl Foreman 276; Helen Brown 234; Sonny Erwin 111b; Marlin Beasley 448t; Mary Wright 546; Sue Bunch 547; Richard Mauldin 43; Rick Foreman 287; Alexandra Maymi 228; Zilpha Cornett 480; Nicholas Thompson 498; Becky Strickland 107; the Beasley family 81t; Charlie Williams 217.


Jonathon Smith called the class together by leading 129. Leaders: Chloe Webb 106; Laurie Silva 318; Mike Hawkins 29t; Wyatt Denney 32t; Sharona Nelson 66; Michael Penny 57. Pastor Troy Tatum then welcomed the Convention to First Christian Church. Leaders: Jesse Roberts 254; Delone Cobbs 354t; Ann Riley Gray 542; Phillip Denney 87; Eric Conrad 284.


Nathan Rees called the class together leading 176t. Leaders: David Carlton 528; Diane Ross 455; B.M. Smith 475; Nate Green and Norma Green 410t; Larry Ballinger 551; Dennis George 268; Judy Whiting 441; Micah Roberts 481; Nikos Pappas 250; Cheyenne Ivey 101t; Donald Ross 419; Bill Stewart 569b; Geraldine Sharpton 496; Eugene Forbes 280; Warren Steel 355. Grace was given before the meal by Elder Jesse Roberts.


Henry Johnson called the class together by leading 385t. Leaders: Earl Ballinger 106; Amber Davis 142; Loyd Ivey 452; Daphene Causey 434; Beth Branscome 467; Rodney Ivey 270; Judy Caudle 500; Steve Brett 206; David Ivey 522; Coy Ivey 384; Karen Rollins 153; Leon Ballinger 195; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 377; Richard Ivey and Kelsey Ivey 131b; Aldo Ceresa 56b; Lauren Bock 560; Sharon DuPriest 137; Scott Ivey 214; Vicki Elliott 183; Dallas Gambrell 178; Dan Brittain 430; Kelsey Ivey 440; Pam Minor 84; Mark Davis 236; Becky Briggs and Corissa Sweatt 460; Bruce Boyle 68b; Robert Dickey and Richard Mauldin 49b; Laura McMurray 95.

The class was dismissed with prayer.

Saturday, June 20

The Saturday session of the National Convention began with Mark Davis leading 129. The opening prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts. Leaders: Gaston White 155; Hubert Nall 566; Buell Cobb 138t; Kathy Williams 77b; Cheryl Foreman 187; Helen Brown 411; Sonny Erwin 31b; Jesse Roberts 376; Pat Temple 59; Gary Smith 569b; Mike Hinton 495; Charlotte Ehrman 365; Arlon Gardner 277; Jim Aaron 231; Gary Padgett 218; Virginia Douglas 147t; Jack Nelson 524; Randy Webber 313b; Diane Ross 543; Leslie Booher 47b; Billy See 312b; Donald Ross 225t.


The class was called together by Sonny Erwin and Helen Brown leading 32t. Leaders: Cora Sweatt 111b; David Branham 358; Bea Aaron 568; Sarah Trumbore 154; Micah Roberts 318; Virgel Campbell 85; Eric Tweedy 385b; Daniel Bearden 140; Rosalind Oldham 503; Jackson Fleder 176b; Ginnie Ely 196; Susan Cherones 564; Steve Warner 86; Margaret Gillanders 391; Henry Johnson 164.

The memorial lesson was held at this time. Mike Hinton made remarks about the tradition of the memorial lesson: to remember loved ones who have passed away in the last year and those who are unable to be with us for health reasons. Sharona Nelson then read the list of names of the sick and homebound, and led 400 for them. The following list of deceased was read: Stanly Edwards, Evelyn Harris, Hobert Ivey, Betty Wright, Charles Kitchens, Eldagene Roberson, Sammie Oliver, Johnny Humber, Rena Humber, Stella Pratt, Dawson Adams, Nadine Willis, Phillip Wootten, Dwight Moody, Mark Moody, Audress Gurley, Larry Sumner, Leon Burgess—Alabama; Carroll Lunsford—California; Tom Wilson—Connecticut; Dennis Beasley—Florida; Raymond Hamrick, Joyce Harrison, Josephine Denney, C.W. Garner—Georgia; David Rust—Indiana; Terry White—Kentucky; Richmond Forsyth—Massachusetts; Joseph Greenaway—Maryland; Danny Arms—North Carolina; John Dennis, Joe Fothergill, Gary Dale—Ohio; Kate Davis—Ireland; Mary Newell—United Kingdom. Mike Hinton and Sharona Nelson led 354b in memory of the deceased. The memorial lesson was closed with prayer offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Linda Thomas 47t; Rick Foreman 515; Charles McCravy 145t; Rebecca Over 353; Phil Summerlin 278t; Sarah Beasley 61; Rosemary Greenaway 282.


Jesse Roberts called the class together by leading 144. Leaders: Nathan Stewart 58; Corissa Sweatt 87; David Carlton 448t; Morgan Bunch and Sue Bunch 485; Mary Wright 146; Warren Steel 442; Anne Heider 532; Nathan Rees and Jesse Karlsberg 99; Elene Stovall 216; Richard Schmeidler 474; Ted Brown 426b; Sharona Nelson 209; Jonathon Smith 110; Ann Riley Gray 207; Sue Bunch 501; Eric Conrad 348t; Anne Heider 236; Becky Briggs 208; Isaac Sligh 57; Dorothea Maynard 304; Jesse Karlsberg 572; UK Singers 77t.

The Convention went into business session to hear committee reports. The Finance Committee thanked the class for donations that were sufficient to cover expenses. Buell Cobb also reported that the Convention has gained 501 (c) (3) status under the umbrella of Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association, and tax deductible donations can now be made.

The Resolutions Committee made the following report: We, individually and collectively, as the 36th annual National Sacred Harp Convention hereby resolve: To thank God for giving us the spirit, will, and strength to gather to sing this music and glorify Him; to thank the pastor, staff, and congregation of First Christian Church for opening their doors to us and providing this magnificent place to sing; to thank Chairman Mark Davis and all the officers of this Convention for their tireless efforts to make this occasion a thing of seemingly effortless joy; to thank all those who prepared and brought the food which fed our physical bodies while the music fed our spiritual bodies; to offer appreciation to Sarah Beasley, Buell Cobb, and Warren Steel, who were members of the first annual National Sacred Harp Convention and have attended every year since; to thank Sarah Beasley for opening her home to host the social; and, we hereby resolve to gather again next year on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before the third Sunday in June to renew this convention. Respectfully submitted: Pat Temple and Gary Smith.

The secretary reported that 425 people from 23 states, the UK, Canada, and Australia registered during the three days of the Convention. There were 135 leaders who led 241 songs. The numbers by state and country are as follows: Alabama—311; Georgia—19; Tennessee—19; Texas—9; Mississippi—8; New York—6; Virginia—5; Oklahoma—4; Florida—3; North Carolina—3; Michigan—3; Washington—2; North Dakota—2; Kentucky—2; Indiana—2; Arkansas—2; Massachusetts—2; Colorado—1; Iowa—1; Oregon—1; Maryland—1; Vermont—1; Louisiana—1; United Kingdom—10; Canada—3; Australia—1. 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. Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Mark Davis; Vice Chairmen—Buell Cobb, Gaston White, Hubert Nall; Secretaries—Cheryl Foreman and Kathy Williams