Lake Murray-area church preserving Black cemetery dating back to 1800s | Columbia News
, 2022-10-13 11:30:00,
IRMO — Six years after volunteering to care for an African American cemetery with ties to its own history, an Irmo-area Lutheran church has received state funds to further its preservation efforts of the burial grounds that date to the 1800s.
St. Michael Lutheran Church plans to use $40,000 in earmarked state funds, along with $15,000 the church raised privately, to survey, enclose and erect a memorial at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church African American Cemetery.
“There is a history of disappearing Black cemeteries,” said Pastor Frank Anderson, especially in areas of expansive residential and commercial growth like that taking place in the area surrounding the cemetery.
“We have an obligation to care for their burial place as well as we care for our burial place,” Anderson added.
Not long after Anderson took over as pastor at St. Michael in 2016, his daughter spotted a group of headstones in the trees while out jogging half a mile south of the church and a quarter-mile from the shores of Lake Murray.
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