St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
(864) 638-6363
(864) 638-8099

Sunday Worship Services
Sunday School: 9:00 am
Fellowship: 10:00 am
Announcements: 10:25 am
Worship Service: 10:30 am
St. John's Cemetery Committee

(For information related to the cemetery: St. John's Historical Cemetery)

Committee Members
Greg Harris, Chair
Luther Lyle
Kenny Johns, Jr.
Rudy Nothdurft
Gary Bowman
Thelma Miller
Church council liaison: Dean Fogel

Committee Description
As indicated in Section 13.06 of St. John's Constitution, the Cemetery Committee is part of the "support" group of standing committees. As such and in compliance with Section 13.07 "Standing Operating Procedures & Policies" are to be developed, followed and occasionally revised. The latest Revised version is as follows:

Cemetery Committee to serve one year terms. This committee consisting of a minimum of five persons, including chairman and Pastor to be approved by Council in January of each year. It works in this manner - by December the chairman contacts existing members on their willingness to serve another year, reviews completed time and talent forms for potential new members and possibly contacts likely prospects. A list is prepared and submitted for approval by Council. At this time the chairman may indicate his willingness to chair the committee. Years in which no committee members are serving on Council, a Council Liaison may also be appointed.

Responsibilities of this committee in very general terms include, serving in an advisory role for both council and congregation and providing oversight in matters concerning grave space and cremains transactions, maintenance, repairs and improvements, restrictions, financial, policy and procedures, etc. Specifically and including details these are:

Grave space transactions are normally the responsibility of a designated member of the committee who handles the entire purchase transaction. However, other members including the Pastor should be prepared to, at least in the case of emergency, locate available spaces.

By use of the Theiling Master Plat, which is kept in the Theiling home, and by physically verifying the availability of the space in the cemetery, each member should be able to make the selection. Again, in case of emergency, nothing else has to be done except the actual flagging of the space and communicating the location to the mortuary in charge. Actual deed preparation, recording, billing, etc. to be done by designated member in weeks following burial.

Much the same procedure is followed in cases where the space is already owned. Care should be taken with family member making arrangements to determine exactly where space is located, again coordinating with master plat and mortuary.

Space is the space required to bury one person. Most available spaces are 5' X 9' but may be somewhat smaller if in older section. A grave site is a space that is occupied. Terms such as lot or plot, while commonly used in the past are no longer used. Stacking two graves in single space is allowed providing adequate depth is achieved in first burial and master plat is properly noted. Also, it should be pointed out to purchaser that extra cost for digging first grave will be involved. Multi space purchases do not qualify for discounts. Purchases are limited to members of St. John's Lutheran Church and spaces limited to them or their family members. No extended terms offered on purchases of spaces or fees for cremains internment.

Deed processing, whether for a single space following a sudden death, or for a family preparing for the future is the same. This deed should include the normal section and space numbers from the master plat, along with the names of all surrounding spaces. The directional relationship with surrounding spaces along with the number and dimensions of the spaces purchased should also be included. Recording of the deed at the Oconee County Courthouse is the responsibility of the designated member of the committee. A copy of the deed, properly noted as to date of recording is to be kept on file in the church office. The original deed will be mailed to the owner, along with an invoice for payment, by the designated member when the recorded deed is received from the county. The master plat should be revised by writing in name on purchased space or spaces.

Repurchases of previously owned spaces be made at 50% of the current sales price with the Cemetery Fund bearing the legal cost of the transfer. St. John's will have first option to repurchase spaces from owners wishing to sell as stated on the deed.

Resales from one church member to a second church member may be considered and approved, upon review, by the committee and approval of council.

Cremains - interments as with burials are limited to members of St. John's or their family members. Remains to be placed in biodegradable packets by the cremation facility and buried within the garden area at the center section of the garden, or at the discretion of the family, removed from the container and scattered anywhere within the garden. Urns, cylinders and individual markers not permitted. Names, birth and death dates to be recorded on plaque in sacristy and also in church's permanent written records. Cost of interment set at 50% of current grave space with receipts credited to Cemetery Fund.

Cremains may also be buried in an individual grave space, limit two per space. In this case grave stones, coping, etc. are allowed. Names would not be entered on plaque in sacristy.

Grave Space Prices, revised 1-1-98, $500.00.

Cremains fee set 1-1-98 $250.00.

Perpetual care on certain spaces was available at an extra charge at one time. Some of the markers may remain. In actuality the entire cemetery is now under an identical system of maintenance. The exception to this is the case of a few grave sites where individual families have requested that nothing be done.

Restrictions as to headstones and coping may appear on deeds for spaces in the "new" or "west" sections that were prepared prior to 1984. These restrictions have been removed.

Restrictions concerning the use of heavy equipment. All trucks delivering vaults, tombstones and coping are restricted to the center drive. Dollies or other smaller pieces of equipment, preferably with rubber tires, are to be used to position the heavier objects.

Graves may either be hand dug or by the use of a small track hoe, specifically designed for that purpose. Front end loaders and back hoes are forbidden.

A maintenance contract is to be awarded on an annual basis providing for mowing, edging along walkways, weed-eating around coping and blowing clippings from walkways. Includes sidewalks and grass strips outside of fence next to streets.

An annual spruce up volunteer work session is to be held early each spring. Trimming trees and shrubs, fertilizing, filling in sunken graves, leveling out mounded graves, minor improvements on coping straightening up of gravestones, etc. Periodically, professionals may be hired for more extensive stone and coping work. Herbicide spraying to be done through out season by committee. Estimates of future years expenditures to be provided to budget director by late August of each year where it will appear as a line item on the following year's budget.

Flowers and greens, both artificial and natural are allowed. Planting of shrubs and trees on individual graves requires committee approval. Persons maintaining sites should be encouraged to use properly designed containers for flowers, etc. three water outlets are spaced along center drive for convenience of persons wishing to maintain fresh flowers or plants. Old flowers, greens, vases, bows, etc. when past being attractive should be removed by person maintaining site. Trash cans are located just outside kitchen door and may be used to dispose of items. These items may be removed by any individual committee member at their discretion.

"The Cemetery Fund" effective with the revision of May 1998 becomes the correct terminology for funds at various times referred to as "Perpetual Care", "Trust", "Restricted", etc. Sources include bequests, sales of grave spaces, receipts of cremains interment, special contributions in lieu of flowers, etc.

These funds may be used for major repairs or renovations upon receiving required Council and Congregational approval. Internal loans may be authorized, interest free, providing required Council and Congregational approval is received.

Long-term objectives of "growing the fund" include providing means to acquire or develop additional cemetery space as the existing rea is used up.

Normal maintenance and minor repairs, etc. to appear as budget line items in the annual budget and as such be paid from General Funds.

All earned interest from invested cemetery funds are to be deposited in General Fund.

Annual report to be prepared January of each year for year just ended. To appear as part of congregations annual report.


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