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Bulloch Local Government

As Church Congregations Age, Bulloch Commission Weighs Role of County in Cemetery Maintenance

At the last Bulloch County Commission meeting, Bulloch resident and Lower Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church member Bert Bowen stood before the Commission to seek advice on how to best preserve the church’s cemetery.


Mr. Bowen explained to the Commission that as he and his fellow congregation members grow older, the need and concern over who will continue to care for the cemetery ground is becoming more pressing. Mr. Bowen is currently responsible for maintenance of the property, which is home to one of Bulloch County’s oldest and largest churchyards. But as a man beyond 80 years old, his health and mobility will soon no longer permit him to be the sole caretaker. At this time, there is no one to take his place.

Caring for cemetery grounds goes beyond landscaping, though, and with the Bulloch County history dating back to the 1700’s, this is certainly not the only cemetery that will face this type of issue. Commissioner Rushing agreed and asked County Manager Couch to weigh in on what the proper role of the County can and should be in cases such as these.

The deep roots of Georgia and Bulloch County history buried across the county have historical preservationists concerned while local elected officials fearing important landmarks of the county culture could be endangered.

Commissioner Nevil explained to Mr. Bowen and the Commission that Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church and other small churches in the area have used attorney’s to establish a Board of Trustees to oversee operations and maintenance of properties for the churches. Not only does it allow for a ‘team’ effort of oversight, but also the ability to obtain donations from members of the community who want to contribute to preservation efforts.

That just leaves one issue…Who will sit on the Board of Trustees for the churches if the concern is an aging congregation?

 

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com.

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