Liberty UMC Cemetery Remains a Vital Part of This Faith Community
The GUMF’s “A Legacy of Faith” video features Liberty UMC’s Cemetery. This photo is provided courtesy of Rev. David Wood of GNTV Media Ministry.
Have you ever felt saddened by the site of a neglected cemetery? Preserving the final resting places of our loved ones can become difficult as family members move or pass away or when a church fails to make the proper financial provisions to do so.
Fortunately this is not the case at Liberty UMC in Macon, Ga. where concerned members banded together in the early 1980s to provide for the continuing care of their cemetery.
Horace (Reggie) Wilson Jr., Liberty UMC Cemetery Association Committee Vice Chair
“Our committee established a trust fund separate from the Church,” explained Horace (Reggie) Wilson Jr., Vice Chair of the Liberty UMC Cemetery Association Committee. “We worked real hard to raise a sizeable amount of money from family members living all over the United States.”
For decades, the interest income earned at the local bank provided enough funds to cover annual maintenance costs. However, with the continual decline in interest rates, the cemetery committee knew it was time to research other investment options.
“Our committee chose to invest our funds with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation because the interest rates are better than the interest rates at the bank,” Wilson said.
Mr. Wilson and his wife, Beverly, plan to be buried at Liberty UMC Cemetery where several generations of their family members have already been laid to rest. Listen while other folks share why Liberty UMC Cemetery remains a vital part of this faith community.
Rev. Wayne Anthony, Pastor of Liberty UMC
“The United Methodist Foundation has helped us establish a cemetery endowment fund. We now have peace of mind knowing that we have provided for the care of our loved ones, giving them a resting place among us and next to us,” said Rev. Wayne Anthony, pastor of Liberty UMC. “The cemetery is important to a church because it shows that the church is going to be there from now on. This is not a storefront. This is not something that is going to be here for a short period of time. A well-kept cemetery is a statement to the community and all of those who come here that this church is committed to people of all ages, and it is committed to being in this place for years to come.”
Liberty UMC Member Susan Watson
“This community is extremely important to us, as is this church,” explained Liberty UMC member Susan Watson. “That was the deciding factor in our decision to purchase lots in the Liberty Church cemetery. We wanted a final resting place for ourselves that had meaning to us and to our family.”
Liberty UMC Member Kim Brewer
“The cemetery is a beautiful part of our church that holds a lot of family, a lot of memories for us,” shared Liberty UMC member Kim Brewer.
Frank Dowd, Liberty UMC Cemetery Association Committee Chair
“Even though I have no family members buried there, we believe it is our obligation to make sure it is taken care of and kept looking nice,” said Frank Dowd, Chair of the Liberty UMC Cemetery Association Committee.
Rev. Steve Waldorf, Georgia United Methodist Foundation Vice President
“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Liberty UMC,” said Rev. Steve Waldorf, Vice President of the GUMF. “Providing professional funds management and investment services, assisting with the establishment of a permanent endowment fund, and offering resources for forming a cemetery association are three ways we can help Methodist churches in Georgia with the care and upkeep of their cemeteries.”
This article was originally published in the Summer 2016 edition of Faith & Money, a publication of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.