“God’s Acre” — St. John’s Cemetery

St. John’s Cemetery has been serving St. John UCC and the Collinsville
area for more than 110 years. It began in April of 1909, when our congregation decided to establish a “God’s Acre” or cemetery. They initially bought 9 3⁄4 acres of land for $950 and named the site “St John’s Cemetery – The Cemetery Beautiful”.

The first recorded burial at the cemetery was Mrs. Katie Epperson on July 8, 1909. Mrs. Epperson’s grave was unmarked until 1993, when, as part of the Church’s centennial celebration, a headstone was dedicated and placed on her resting place. Since the time of her burial, approximately 9,700 individuals have been buried at St. John’s Cemetery, and it has grown to encompass 35 acres of which approximately 1⁄2 remain undeveloped. Indeed, St. John’s Cemetery has come to be known as a community cemetery that is open and welcoming to ALL people and beliefs.

The newest addition to the cemetery is a pair of structures located near the main entrance. These columbaria offer an inurnment option for those choosing cremation. Each granite columbarium contains individual niches for placing cremains, each with an engravable bronze plaque. These unique pillars are located in a beautiful courtyard-like setting with memorial pavers that are available for purchase to be engraved with words honoring a loved one.

Annual traditions at the cemetery include a community Easter sunrise service featuring a brief sermon, hymns and Communion; and lining the cemetery’s roads with American and State flags every Veterans Day and Memorial Day, as well as, with the help of the Boy Scouts, placing American flags on the graves of each veteran in honor of their service.

The trustees and staff of St. John’s Cemetery are honored to be part of St. John UCC’s ministry and to be recognized as part of St. John UCC’s 125th Anniversary activities. Blessings to all and prayers for many more years of service together.

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