Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Union Musical Sacred Harp Singing Convention

Poplar Springs Primitive Baptist Church, Bowdon, Georgia

September 28-29, 2019

Saturday, September 28

The 151st session of the Union Musical Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held at Poplar Springs Primitive Baptist Church, Bowdon, Georgia, on the fifth Sunday and Saturday before in September. The class was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Jeannette DePoy leading 81t. Bill Hollingsworth offered the morning prayer.

Jeannette DePoy led 34b. John Plunkett conducted the introductory lesson leading 492, 80t, 312t, 325, 225t, 330t, 355. Leaders: Rebecca Over 105, 144; Helen Bryson 176t, 522; David Brodeur 353, 359; Samuel Williams 482, 171; Joyce Heath 460, 318; Jack Nelson 399t, 32t.


Kathy Williams called the class to order leading 108t. Leaders: Daniel Williams 77t; Robert Chambless 163b.

A business session was held and the following officers and committee members were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Rebecca Over; Vice Chairman—Andy Ditzler; Secretary/Treasurer—Helen Bryson; Chaplains—Bill Hollingsworth, Jesse Roberts, and Daniel Williams; Arranging Committee—David Brodeur, Lisa Bennett, and David Smead; Memorial Committee—Karen Rollins and Kathy Williams; Locating Committee—John Plunkett and Philip Denney; Resolutions Committee—Jeannette DePoy and Oscar McGuire; Finance Committee—Samuel Williams, Richard DeLong, and Winfred Kerr. There was a lengthy discussion concerning venues for next year’s convention, conflicts with other singings, and possible changing of dates. It was determined that class members could speak with members of the Locating Committee regarding their thoughts and suggestions and the Locating Committee would report on Sunday.

Leaders: Rebecca Over 530; Andy Ditzler 472; Karen Rollins, Paige Harrod, and Karleen Williams 405; Lisa Bennett 31t; Janice Paulk 317; Jesse Roberts 260; Fred Eady 332; Richard DeLong 422; Glenda Collins 454; Amber Davis 197; Eric Tweedy 547; Bill Dupre 36b; Winfred Kerr 500; Isaac Green 541; David Smead 157; Charles Woods 453; Alice Sundberg 176b; Bill Hollingsworth 236.


Andy Ditzler called the class to order leading 274t. Leaders: Philip Denney 120; Shane Brown 228; Lydia Lewallen 111t; Natalie Sims 84; Sarah Trumbore 373; Sue Bunch 330b; Christy Sinksen 448t; Oscar McGuire 485; Justin Bowen 475; Peter Trumbore 112; Morgan Bunch 456; Ken Sundberg 214 (for Aubrey Barfield); Tom George 565; Judy Chambless 29t; Katherine Manning 455; Meredith Turner 312b; Janice Paulk 517; Jesse Roberts 446; Natalie Sims 287; Morgan Bunch 428; Lydia Lewallen 27; Sue Bunch 497; Katherine Manning 319; Peter Trumbore 142. Announcements were made. Rebecca Over, Andy Ditzler, and Helen Bryson led 209 as the closing song. Bill Hollingsworth offered the closing prayer.

Sunday, September 29

Rebecca Over called the class to order leading 295 and 283. Daniel Williams offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Helen Bryson 49t, 227; Lisa Bennett 489 (in memory of Holly Long’s father), 437 (for Don Bowen, Judy Mincey, Kelsey Taylor, and Harold Long); David Smead 40 (for Charlene Wallace); John Plunkett 435, 41; Winfred Kerr 294, 516; Jeannette DePoy 47t, 89; Philip Denney 28b, 143; Samuel Williams 296, 474; Lori Silva 72b, 157; Karen Rollins and Denney Rogers 153, 389.


Rebecca Over called the class to order leading 85. Leaders: Sandra Wilkinson 421, 409; Mark Puckett 35, 560; Lucey Rose Karlsberg and Lauren Bock 186; Morgan Bunch 34b, 384; Jed Silva 76b, 133; Joyce Heath 27, 36b; Sue Bunch 107, 354t; Celeste Silva 480, 376; Sheri Taylor 37b (in memory of David Smith), 119; Lina Silva 274t, 268.


Rebecca Over called the class to order leading 114. Jesse Karlsberg led 345b and 65.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Karen Rollins. The list of names of the deceased are as follows: Susan Roberts, Carol Chapman, Mildred Patterson, Robby Rivers, Larry James Smith, Irene Kerr Snow, Margery Driver, Dale Todd—Georgia; Ottis Sides, Eugene Forbes, Jane Tate, Mark Hyatt, Mike Jones, Rozlyn Green, Ruth Daniel—Alabama; Adelaide Vaughn—Texas; Ann Blake—Florida; Paul Luther Wilson—Minnesota; Concetta Branson—Oregon; Harold Long—Pennsylvania. The sick and shut-ins list is as follows: Charlene Wallace, Collin Royster, Velton Chafin, Elsie Hollingsworth, John Hollingsworth, Norma Mincey, Judy Mincey, Don Bowen, Roni Rollins, Aubrey Barfield, Betty Culver, Sara Nelson, Jack Paulk, Roy Davis, Sr (Mark Davis’s father), Melanie Hauff, and Kelsey Taylor.

Karen spoke of the Sacred Harp community and what it means. The word community has different definitions in the dictionary: a group of people living in same place (such as the Smithfield community) and a group of people having a particular characteristic in common (such as the elderly community or deaf community). Neither of these definitions fit the Sacred Harp Community. Another definition, feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals, fits a little better as there is something in common—love of this music, but attitudes and interests are not the same. All these definitions are rather vague and too broad. We may have interests, goals, beliefs we share with many others and still not feel a sense of community with them as we feel here in the hollow square. We think our community is built on relations of caring for each other, on a sense of belonging, on a feeling of togetherness more like a family. The memorial lesson is an important ritual because we love those who are sick, who are grieving, who are hurting, and we miss those who are absent. Daniel Williams closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Stanley Smith 215, 428; Laura Frey and Jenna Frey 358, 46; Daniel Williams 290, 74t.


Rebecca Over called the class to order leading 418. Leaders: Oscar McGuire 573, 556; Robert Kelley 297, 350; Lauren Bock 228, 391; Caleb Silva 116, 332; Stanley Smith 546; Sandra Wilkinson 403; Mark Puckett 408; Samuel Williams and Daniel Williams 562; the Silva family 438; Jesse Karlsberg, Lauren Bock, and Lucey Rose Karlsberg 439; Robert Kelley 308; Joyce Heath 118; Oscar McGuire and Suzanne Doyle 229; John Plunkett 446; Philip Denney 101t; Helen Bryson 505; Lisa Bennett and David Smead 570.

The convention entered into a business session for purpose of hearing reports. Jeannette DePoy and Oscar McGuire of the Resolutions Committee reported the following: Oh, the delights the Heavenly joys the glories of the place where Jesus sheds the Brightest beams of his o’er flowing grace. The 151st session of the Union Musical Sacred Harp Singing Convention is one of those places with the brightest beams. We the singers of the 151st Union Musical Sacred Harp Singing Convention thank God for all of His blessings and for His grace that allows us to be here to sing praises to His name. We thank all of the singers from near and far for their participation and fellowship to make this singing a huge success. We are extremely grateful to all of the officers and committee members who kept the convention organized and running smoothly. A special thanks goes out to everyone who provided food and refreshments for our enjoyment and nourishment. We especially thank the members of Poplar Springs Primitive Baptist Church for opening their hearts and the doors of their church to us for this session of the convention. It is not very often these days that anyone is as gracious as they have been in welcoming us to come and sing. Finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior and the Father’s boundless love allow us to meet for the 152nd session of the Union Musical Sacred Harp Singing Convention on the fifth Sunday and Saturday before in November, 2020, at Big Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia. The Treasurer reported that the convention expenses were met. The reports were approved, and the business session was closed. Announcements were made.

Rebecca Over led 347 as the closing song. Daniel Williams offered the closing prayer.

Chairman—Rebecca Over; Vice Chairman—Andy Ditzler; Secretary/Treasurer—Helen Bryson