Does Your Church Have a Cemetery? You Should Read This!

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BY REV. STEPHEN A. WALDORF, GUMF REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT

Cemeteries are sacred places. In many churches, several generations of the same family are resting there. At the same time, cemeteries can become a burden for a church to maintain properly and even bring liability if someone is injured there.

The South and North Georgia Conference treasurers strongly urge churches to form a cemetery association, which can be the best way to sustain and maintain a cemetery until Christ returns! Here is how a cemetery association works.

The church which owns the cemetery forms and incorporates a separate cemetery association to maintain and manage the cemetery. The association can include non-church members, such as family members of those interred in the cemetery. The association elects officers, adopts rules for the cemetery’s administration, and applies for tax-exempt status so that contributions may qualify for tax deductions.

Once set up, the church deeds the cemetery to the association. The church no longer has liability for the cemetery. The cemetery association manages the cemetery. And the association can set up a maintenance fund to provide for the expenses of the cemetery.

In the sad event of a church closing, the cemetery association will continue to own and manage the cemetery. To learn more, please call me, Rev. Stephen A. Waldorf, at 478-746-9688, ext. 124 or 478-747-0042 or visit our Cemetery Association web page.