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 Historical Cemetery

The cemetery at St. Johns predates the formation of our congregation.  We strive to keep it a living place, dedicated to keeping the memory of all our saints who came before us.

Oversight and Management:

Oversight for the management and care of St. Johns Cemetery is provided by the Cemetery Committee at St. John's Responsibilities of this committee includes:  advising council and congregation and providing oversight in matters concerning grave space and cremains transactions, maintenance, repairs and improvements, restrictions, financial, policy and procedures.

Please contact committee chair, Greg Harris, if you need help purchasing a grave space or if you have any other questions or concerns regarding the cemetery.  His contact details are as follows: and 864-364-0361

Grave Space & Burial Information:  

Purchases of grave spaces are limited to members of St. Johns Lutheran Church and usage of spaces limited to the owner or members of their family.  Members may select their grave space from available spaces outlined on the Master Plat.  A grave space is typically and area of 5 x 9.  Stacking of two graves in a single grave space is allowed, provided the first grave is sufficiently deep.  Cremation remains may be interred in graves spaces, although limited at two per each grave space. 

A deed for grave spaces will be prepared and recorded at Oconee County Courthouse.  Once recorded, original deed will be mailed to the member, along with invoice.  St. Johns retains first option to repurchase spaces from owners wishing to sell and resales from one church member to another may be considered and approved, upon review, by the committee and approval of Council. 

The fee for purchasing a single grave space is $500.

Cremation remains may be interred in the Cremains Garden.  Remains are to be placed in biodegradable packets and buried within the garden in the raised center bed, or at the discretion of the family, removed from the container and scattered anywhere in the garden.  Urns, cylinders and individual markers are not currently permitted.  Names, birth and death dates of the deceased member will be recorded on a plaque in the sacristy and in the churchs permanent written records.  No record is recorded at the court house.  

The fee for placing remains in the Cremains Garden is $250.

Maintenance of Grave Spaces & Cemetery

The Cemetery Committee provides a considerable amount of maintenance.  It contracts for maintenance that includes:  mowing, edging along walkways, weed-eating around coping and blowing clippings from walkways.  The Committee also carries out other chores such as:  trimming trees and shrubs, fertilizing, filling in sunken graves, levelling out mounded graves, corrections to copings and gravestones, applying herbicide and ant poison.

Grave space owners and family are encouraged to help maintain their spacesFlowers and greens, both artificial and natural are allowed.  Planting of shrubs and trees on individual graves must have prior written approval of the committee.  Persons maintaining spaces are encouraged to use properly designed containers for flowers.  Old displays will be removed when past being attractive.

Who is burried at St. John's (supplied by

History of St. John's Historical Cemetery:

The cemetery at St. Johns predates the official formation of the church, which occurred on Sunday, November 20, 1853. 

In 1849, John Wagener and Jacob Kalb, of the German Colonization Society of Charleston, laid out the town of Walhalla and designated the four corners of Main and Church streets for public buildings.  The southwest corner was reserved for the future church.

On January 3, 1851, the Germans living in Walhalla decided to build a chapel for worship and for holding school.  This structure stood near the parking area and entrance to the church office and next to the gate to the oldest section of the cemetery.  The building was used for services until the current church building was completed in 1861.

The untimely deaths of some of our early German founders necessitated the laying out of the cemetery.  The earliest known burials, all from 1851, include:  John Kleinbeck, Hanke Housman and Claus Bulwinkel, along with his toddler son, who were both killed in a horse and wagon accident.

St. Johns Cemetery is the resting place of many of Walhallas town founders and early settlers.  The remains of veterans from many of our national conflicts can be found, including those from both sides of The Civil War.

One prominent person not interred at St. Johns is Gen. John Wagener, leading founder of the German Colonization Society of Charleston.  He was originally buried at St. Johns but the citizenry of Charleston, where he had served as mayor, demanded that his remains be removed to Charleston.  His funeral in Charleston drew thousands of mourners and he is now buried at Bethany Cemetery.  A stone at St. Johns marks where he was originally buried.

Primary source St. Johns Lutheran Church Walhalla, South Carolina 1853-2009, Rev. George B. Shealy.