The following letter was mailed with this year’s registration packet.
To our Brothers and Sisters of Harmony Hill,
At Harmony Hill, we try to keep the focus on God’s abundant blessings on this community throughout the years, rather than on our practical needs and difficulties. Nevertheless, this year we must speak honestly with you, our friends, about our uncertain financial situation. Our purpose in contacting each of you is to request “the prayers of those we love,” and to request that you consider answering the present financial needs of Harmony Hill Singing School in any way you feel led.
Our urgent need is meeting our annual expenses that pays for the cost of property taxes, regular utilities, maintenance of grounds and buildings, and the up-front cost of preparing for singing school— all the expenses that must be paid before the beginning of the week, when the majority of the registration donations come in. These regular expenses total about $25,000 annually – it takes half of this amount for the week of Harmony Hill alone, while the other half is spread across the other 51 weeks. $12,500 for the week’s expenses is less than the estimated cost per attendee based on attendance of 250. Double that, and our annual need will be met.
Our website, www.harmonyhillsingingschool.org is available for online registration with our PayPal link for preregistration fees and donations. There is also a specific page for ordering The Primitive Baptist Hymnal, CDs, and other publications.
Through 60 years of annual singing school, Harmony Hill has always been a labor of love. We function not as a business or institution so much as a community of brothers and sisters in shared faith, upheld by quiet acts of service and generosity both during singing school and throughout the year. In 1954, the first singing school was held with no buildings on the donated property. We now have seven buildings and roofed shelters, primarily built by volunteers. We have attempted to keep construction of the new building as simple and inexpensive as possible, relying as in the past on volunteer labor and discounted or donated material, even though this has caused delays. Despite these efforts, construction has cost more than anticipated and the construction fund is currently too low for the project to move forward.
With recent enrollment around 250-300 plus visitors throughout the week, we exceed the capacity of our main building, Dalton Hall. In 2010, after prayer and some planning, we purchased a metal building kit and began construction. Progress has been slow, with several stops and restarts, despite many remarkable gifts of time, labor, materials, and money from friends of Harmony Hill. We thank you all for your support of this project, and thank God for your generous spirits and involvement in the work at Harmony Hill. Your contributions designated for the new building have been used solely on the building. It was estimated last June that our need to take occupancy of the building was $60,000.
This has been a difficult letter to write. We have always, and do still, depend on God for His blessing of this work. We, the trustees challenged with caring for Harmony Hill, are in need of your prayers for God’s direction in all we do on behalf of this Foundation called Harmony Hill. Each of you is precious to us, and we welcome you to communicate to us your ideas for Harmony Hill’s future.
In Bonds of Christ’s Love,
The Trustees of Harmony Hill, a Primitive Baptist Foundation, Inc.