Antioch’s Annual Decoration Day
Recently my parents and I attended Antioch Christian Church’s Annual Decoration Day Ceremony. For those of you unaware of what this is, I will inform you. According to a church document adorning its walls, Brother Jesse Walden of Lancaster, Kentucky organized the church on the 15th of May, 1892. Although Decoration Day is an annual event, the ceremony I attended on Saturday, June 2nd was special in that it was also celebrating 120 years since the church was founded.
A cemetery surrounds the church, making it a very important part of their history and identity. Although my family does not attend Antioch Church, we have many friends and family members buried in the cemetery. This year, we paid our respects by taking part in the Decoration Day Ceremony.
They conducted a short board meeting to discuss the upkeep and necessary maintenance of the cemetery; it does not keep itself looking beautiful for visitors and loved ones. The meeting was followed by music and words from chairman, Tommy Haggard, reminding us that, “The days are long, but the years are short.” We also enjoyed wonderful music by Marcy Brooks Johnson (who attends my church, Liberty First Christian Church) and Tommy’s family. Antioch’s own pastor, Bryce McCullough, delivered a message as well.
Most everyone in attendance shared about the loved ones they had resting in the cemetery, something everyone in attendance had in common. After the service, we gathered for “Dinner on the Grounds.” Then most everyone paid their respects and decorated the grave sites of their loved ones.
As for the Cundiff’s, we have several family members at Antioch, located only about a mile from my home. Our home was formerly home to my Dad’s grandparents, John and Kate Cundiff, who are now laid to rest at Antioch. In these photos you will see both Carson’s and Cundiff’s, both family names of my kin.
I have added this entry to my Top 10: Local Allure countdown. While I do have family resting there, I have also built many memories there. I visited the graveyard regularly in the evenings with my family walking, riding bikes, roller blading, and running. I found Antioch’s nice paved road that circles the graveyard to be so peaceful. My brothers and I would ride our bikes round and round. I know it may sound strange to go to a cemetery for recreation, but I sort of felt like my family and loved ones were all there with me. Dad would tell us stories about our family and friends, making sure we knew where to locate their headstones. Antioch is, of course, a historic Casey County landmark. Having always wanted to dedicate a photo session to the church and graveyard, this event was a great opportunity for not only that but a wonderful way for me to learn more about my heritage.
If you have a loved one at Antioch or think you might, check out this very useful site. It has photos of each headstone, information about the deceased, ways for you to update or add your own, as well as loads of other useful material. If this particular graveyard isn’t of interest to you, you can also use this resource for other graveyards.
The Antioch Cemetery plot map.
James Cundiff’s gravestone…notice the Masonic symbol on the right corner.