New singing convention center opens

Published 12:01 am Friday, April 5, 2013

Its construction was designed for worship in song and in wood, and last Friday, the doors of the South Alabama Convention Singing Hall in Gantt opened for celebration.

Constructed by Randall Holland, the facility is made entirely of saw-milled logs and saw a crowd of more than 200 last Friday.

“What we do here is called convention type singing,” Holland said. “It’s where everyone comes and enjoys themselves in song.”

Convention congregational singings were started in South Alabama about 14 years ago, when a group of dedicated people who enjoyed singing started Friday night singings, Holland said. Locations rotate – at the Samson Housing Authority on the first Friday; at the Opp Senior Service Center on the second; third was at East Highland, but now in Gantt; Enon Community on the fourth Friday and at Red Oak Baptist Church on the fifth.

“The fellowship and singing has continued and grown into a program that everyone enjoys and looks forward with anticipation to the next singing,” said participant Monte Morgan. “Several pianists play for the events, and different persons lead the congregation in singing one of their favorite hymns and/or songs.  Occasionally, Sacred Harp singing has occurred by singing the shaped notes.”

Morgan described the hall as “beautifully constructed.”

“With the help of friends and Southern gospel singing enthusiasts from South Alabama and North West Florida, (Holland) cut and planed most of the lumber used in the building by himself,” he said. “Many others helped with gifts of a piano, chairs, paint, roofing and other fixtures.  Every one was amazed by the acoustics and beauty of the building. Randall said that the building is a place where God is glorified with singing of gospel songs, and everyone is welcome to the singings.”

Holland said the doors to the hall are open to those of all denominations.