A visit to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Shreveport.
Photo tour of Forest Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, AL near the Birmingham A- Shuttlesworth International Airport. Also adjacent to Greenwood Cemetery where there are 3 of the girls buried there from the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing September 15, 1963. You can easily visit both! (See video Greenwood Cemetery, Birmingham, AL if you want to find their graves to visit)
God’s Acre, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has become the traditional name given to the graveyards of Congregations of the Moravian Church. In between God’s Acre is the Salem Cemetery so you can visit two historic cemeteries in the same area.
Moravians believe strongly in equality, even in death; therefore, every stone in a God’s Acre is a recumbent stone with the same proportions and made of the same material so that no one person stands out among the stones. The Communion of Saints is continued even on the graveyard as it reflects the continuity of the congregation. In addition, the deceased are buried by choir; to the Moravians, these were the living groups into which the Congregation was originally divided to meet the needs of the members according to their age and station in life. Originally men and women sat in their choir groups in church at worship. The burial by choir in God’s Acre also reflects the way the members of the congregation sat as a worshipping community so that visually and symbolically the Congregation continues in the graveyard.
When Greenwood’s owners went bankrupt, they abandoned the grounds, leaving the cemetery marred by exposed bones, sunken graves and toppled tombstones. The city took over Greenwood in the 1990’s, sponsoring several cleanups and paving a road there.
I have tried to research the history about this cemetery but have only discovered that it is the oldest African-American cemetery either in AL or in Birmingham. There isn’t much information available on-line. I have read good and bad about this cemetery. However when I visited in July of 2013, expecting the worst, the grass was cut and landscaping neat. It was clean and I didn’t see trash about. It appeared that the city is doing their best to maintain perpetual care. I’ve seen much worse.
What makes this cemetery special, is that there are three of the 16th Street Baptist Church murdered victims buried there. Without an office to ask for help, I was luck that after walking around for a while I was able to locate their graves.
It was thirty years before Addie’s sisters could bear to visit her grave, and when they saw its neglected state, they immediately arranged to have Addie Mae moved to another, better maintained cemetery. However, workers who opened the grave recoiled in shock: It was empty devoid of casket and corpse. No one can know with certainty who took the body or why.
My visit to the Trentham Cemetery in Gatlinburg, TN. I photographed the entire cemetery. If anyone wants any family headstone pictures I am happy to email them to you. Not all headstones are in the video. Some stones were very worn and I could not see the name on the stone.
Constructed 1861 with 1890 addition, restored 2004. Historic St. Philips Church is the oldest African American church still standing in the state of North Carolina and one of the earliest in the entire country. Built for the African American congregation, the church matched most of the other churches in the area built at the same time with the large brick, Greek Revival style.
The church was expanded in 1890 with the need to add more classroom space downstairs and above in the balcony. The church extended out into the graveyard, which later caused structural issues on the front walls.
The congregation moved out of the building in the 1952, and the church sat vacant until restored for use as part of Old Salem Museums & Gardens tours. The steeple, which had been removed in the 1920s was part of the exterior restoration. The original pews and other details are back in place inside the building.
Exterior and Graveyard of St John’s Evangelist Church in Philadelphia, PA