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Old Folks Singing set for Sunday in Tull Community

May 14, 2012

Dr. Russell Burton, wife Janie and other members of their family lead a hymn at an earlier Old Folks Singing at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in the Tull community. The annual event is scheduled Sunday, May 20, and the public is invited. Photo special to the Courier

Current and former residents and friends of the Tull community will come together this coming weekend to celebrate the 127th anniversary of Old Folks Singing.
The event is scheduled Sunday, May 20, at Ebenezer United Methodist Church and will begin at 10 a.m.
The first Old Folks Singing took place on the third Sunday in May in 1885.
In keeping with an established pattern, singing during the morning segment will come from the original Christian Harmony hymn book.
According to Karen Westbrook, a spokesperson for the event, these hymnals have been used since the first Old Folks’ Singing in 1885. The hymnal includes such songs as “Happy Land,” “When I Am Gone,” “Soft Music” and “Angel Band,” which are traditionally sung at Old Folks Singing
Jeff Westbrook, mayor of Tull, is slated to give the welcome address. The response to the welcome address will be given by Mike Phillips of California.
A potluck dinner on the grounds is set for the noon hour and will be followed by additional singing at 1:30 p.m. The hymnal used during the afternoon portion is the Cokesbury, which includes such songs as “Love, Mercy, and Grace,” “The Awakening Chorus,” “The Church in the Wildwood” and “Peace, Peace Be Still.”
Westbrook said the afternoon session will include a memorial service for those who died in the past year but who had attended Old Folks Singing at one time.
The day will end with prayer and the singing of “God Be with You Till We Meet Again.
Westbrook noted that 264 people signed the guest book at the 2011 event.
In addition to Arkansas, states represented included Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee and California.
Speaking for residents of the Tull community, Westbrook issued an invitation to everyone to attend Old Folks Singing "and enjoy the singing and fellowship."
Westbrook serves as secretary of Old Folks Singing. Other officers are: Richard Tull, president; Wilson DuVall, vice president; Sue Shults, treasurer; and John Victor Burton, chaplain.
Additional information about the event is available by contacting Westbrook at 778-6242 or Virgie DuVall at 778-9057.

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