Help Preserve a little history...
LYNCHBURG PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND CEMETERY ARE IN DIRE NEED OF FAMILIES’ AND FRIENDS’ DONATIONS.
It is a blessing that this 159 year old church is still standing and that its’ cemetery is still a beautiful and respectful safe haven for families to treasure. However, both are in immediate need of repairs, and this is an ongoing problem. The Lynchburg Cemetery Association, Inc. is governed by a 100% volunteer board, made up of six members, all of which have family connections with the property. Many hours are spent by these folks, trying to preserve the church and cemetery. The repairs needed at the present time cannot be done by volunteers, EXCEPT VOLUNTEERS COULD HELP TO LOCATE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO MAY HAVE ANCESTORS BURIED HERE. If anyone is willing to help us find current addresses, this would be so very helpful. We could then mail letters explaining our financial needs. If you can spare a few hours, please email us. Emails should be sent to email@example.com , and thank you in advance for considering this most worthy cause.
PRESENT-DAY CEMETERY NEEDS: Cemeteries less than ten acres typically do not receive government funding to help maintain the grounds and preserve the tombstones. Therefore, our property cannot be kept presentable without donations from families and friends.
Monument professional companies must be hired to resecure any loose tombstones, repair broken ones, and clean the badly mildewed stones. If done correctly, these oldest monuments should be stable for a hundred or more years to come. If properly cleaned (so not to damage the granite or marble ), the monuments should not need another cleaning for at least 8 years.
Our board is committed to hiring a reputable company with years of experience, so that all of the monuments will be repaired and cleaned using the best possible techniques and materials. This is a costly endeavor, and funds are not available to carry out this mission.
The regular cemetery upkeep is paid for out of current funds. The expenses are high in the spring, summer, and fall, as the grass needs to be cut on a biweekly schedule. (We often push it to 3 weeks to save money.) We also try to cut the grass before all funeral services, as a courtesy to the families. The ditch and dirt road must be kept free of debris and weeds, and fire ant treatment must be done. All of this work must be done, and this is the minimum required.
We have never sent yearly bills to families who have loved ones buried in the cemetery, so we rely solely on individuals’ donations. The only guaranteed income is a “grave opening” charge of $350.00 when someone is to be buried here. (And the grass cutting cost is $350.00, therefore, no extra funds go into our savings.)
CHURCH BUILDING NEEDS: Services are no longer held in our church, due to the unsafe conditions of the floor inside the sanctuary. We have carried out fund raising endeavors over the past 35 years, through yard sales and phone calls and letter writing…. All done by our dedicated volunteers!
In 2002, funds were raised to re-roof the building, and a metal roof replaced the old shingle roof. Thankfully, this has stopped the rain from leaking into the interior. Unfortunately, leaks from the old roof over the years have caused portions of the plaster ceiling to fall, and there has not been funding to do the repairs.
The building is now protected by a Termite Bond (following treatment performed in 2012). Over the years, termites had damaged most of the beams, rendering the interior unsafe to walk inside.
In 2013, the church’s structural support underneath the building was rebuilt. This was a huge endeavor, made possible by skilled carpenters brought in from Charleston. Top grade treated lumber and galvanized screws were used, in hopes of lasting for many years.
Our immediate need is to take measures to protect the siding on the entire building from rain, wind, etc. Most of the siding is original, so keeping it intact is important. The entire building is in dire need of scraping, priming, and finish-coat painting.
Other exterior repairs needed are replacing the marble on the sign in front of the property with our name and date etched on it.
Also, repair the plaster columns that support the entire front of the church, along with brick repairs and replacement on the portico at the entrance. Adequate funds are simply not available .
The interior needs extensive repairs to the ceiling (where plaster has fallen over the years). We must replace a 6’ by 6’ area of the original pine floor because it is not structurally sound. We will probably find other needs as we delve closely into the interior work, but these first two are definitely required before using the sanctuary again.
It is the hope of the community to one day be able to resume the Ole Timey Day (Homecoming) Celebration every other year or every third year. This is a huge undertaking for the Methodists and the Baptist church members, but it surely was an event everyone looked forward to. They will be in need of additional volunteers if this one day resumes.
SO, HOW CAN YOU HELP ?
WE NEED FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM FAMILIES WHO HAVE ANCESTORS BURIED IN OUR CEMETERY. The time is now, as we have inspected the entire graveyard and see that some of the repairs need to be done NOW.
All donations are tax-deductible, as our association has a non-profit status and are in good standing with the state of South Carolina.
The board is currently applying for a 501(c)(3) status. For cemeteries, it is actually 501(c)(13). After this designation is approved, plans will begin to carry out a capitol campaign fund raising effort. We must have additional funds to do more than cut the grass. When speaking with Directors of other cemeteries, we were told that letting the grass grow up is the first sign that the property is not maintained and vandalism will become rampant. We must guarantee that this never happens, but it is up to the current generation….
PLEASE….Make checks payable to: LYNCHBURG CEMETERY ASSOCIATION, INC.
Mail to: Lynchburg Cemetery Association, Inc
Mrs. Penny Hickson Tallon, Treasurer
P.O. Box 66
Lynchburg, South Carolina 29080
Penny is the daughter of Doris and Cecil Hickson and granddaughter of Claire and H.A. Hicks) She has served as Secretary/ Treasurer for many years, working untold hours to keep this cemetery looking so beautiful.
ALSO, If you are able to financially help with the church repairs, Make checks payable to: Lynchburg Cemetery Association, Inc. Then on the bottom left side of the check , printed is “For___________________________ .” Here, please write “Building Fund”
Mail to: Mr. R. G. Vassy, "Zip"
520 West Pine Street
Florence, South Carolina 29501
(and yes, this is Zip, is the son of Rosemary and Bobby Vassy, and grandson of Emma Belle and C.A. Vincent, and member of the Frierson family) He has served as Chairman of the Building Fund, following Howard Vincent, Sr.’s long tenure.
The Lynchburg Cemetery Association, Inc. is governed by a dedicated and hard working Board of Directors. Serving currently on the Board are:
Penny Hickson Tallon
R.G. Vassy (Zip)
Stan Harker President of The Cemetery Association Board (son of Chris and Jimmy Harker and grandson of Katherine and AndrewHarker)
Tony McElveen ( church’s neighbor and the son of Georgia and Robbie McElveen,and also a member of the Hornsby family of Lynchburg
Watson Tolson (son of Amelia Ann and W.A. Tolson, grandson of Claire and H.A. Hickson And W.T. and Blanche Tolson)
Rinne Sade (daughter of Dool and Howard Vincent and granddaughter of Emma Belle and C.A. Vincent) member of the Frierson family.
The board of directors welcomes input and ideas from all family members with connections to this beloved property. You may write to Penny or Zip, and give them your phone number and/or email address. You may email to same address as above: firstname.lastname@example.org Penny and Zip will get your message this way, also.
We welcome any old photos of the church and its cemetery, as well as photos of Lynchburg citizens from “days gone by.” Additonal history of the area would be great, also. (and any corrections that may be needed.)