The time was July, 1969. A gospel meeting had just been completed in Diana, TN. Bro. William Sanders of Diana, TN had led the singing, and Bro. Tom Holland, then of Henderson, TN had been preaching. The two of them were talking about an all-night quartet singing being held in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium. Bro. Sanders questioned, “If people will go to hear quartets sing all night, why wouldn’t people come sing all night?” Further discussion between these two led to the decision to try to have an all-night congregational singing.
The first Diana Singing was conducted in October of 1969 at the Diana, TN Church of Christ building. Bro. Sanders had agreed to spend the necessary time preparing for the singing. Because Bro. Sanders was a member of the Diana Church of Christ, he secured permission for the singing to be held there. There were no operating funds but Bros. Sanders and Holland invested $15 to have cards printed advertising the first all-night singing. However, it was Bro. Sanders enthusiasm for the singing that became contagious, and when time for the first singing arrived, hundreds of people were on hand.
In an effort to accommodate the crowds the second year, a tent was borrowed and attached to the side of the Diana church building and filled with borrowed chairs. Still, there were more people than room available. The following singing, an even larger tent was borrowed and attached to the side of the church building. Even then, more people than room. Still the next singing, a ‘stand-alone’ tent was borrowed and used, and the crowd still was overflowing. The situation was still far from ideal, and it was realized that accommodations were needed so that everyone could be together.
When the possibility of buying a lot next to the Diana church property for the purpose of erecting some type of facility where all the singers would be together was announced to the audience, enough money was donated and pledged by singers that night to purchase that lot. The original shed was built in 1973 and sat about 1,500 people, and was soon still too small. In 1974, the shed was enlarged to accommodate more people.