Memorial Garden

Memorial Garden Refresh

The Memorial Garden was created in 2001 after previously serving as a meditation garden. Since then, 71 families have chosen this area to lay their loved ones to rest. There are currently 325 designated spots as well as an area where ashes can be scattered. The Garden Mission Team currently maintains the Memorial Garden.

Over the years the garden has thrived, but both freezing winters and time have taken their toll. A landscape designer created a beautiful plan for us, and we had a landscaper install it.

Most of the plantings were removed and the watering system was replaced. We added trees, shrubbery, plants with seasonal color, new hardscape, and a new water feature. Each phase of the project was conducted with care and respect, and ensured that interred ashes are undisturbed.

We need your help to keep the Memorial Garden looking beautiful. We invite you to consider donating to this worthy project. You can give by writing a check to First-Centenary UMC and putting “Memorial Garden Refresh” on the memo line. You can also give online by clicking the link below, enter the dollar amount, and select “Memorial Garden Refresh.”

Your consideration is greatly appreciated.

Before -> After


The Memorial Garden is designed to provide a space for the interment of ashes of deceased members of the First-Centenary United Methodist Church family.  In the past, cemeteries were often located on church grounds; it is appropriate that a space of beauty and tranquility be provided for those who prefer burial in the church garden.  The garden serves as a place for rest, meditation, and prayer.


First-Centenary should be notified as soon as possible when a death occurs.  The funeral home should also be notified, so that arrangements for cremation may be made.  The church will furnish an urn and a suitable covering, approved by the Garden Mission, for use during the service.  The burial service may be held in the church, followed by a procession to the Memorial Garden for the committal of the ashes.


The Business Manager is responsible for the administration of the garden and will assign plots based on a grid with numbered spaces. Spaces will be assigned in numerical order at the time of death. Remains will be placed consecutively; no particular place may be reserved.


The name of each person whose ashes are committed in the garden will be inscribed on an individual bronze name plate, along with the year of birth and of death.  This plate will be attached to the large, permanent memorial plaque located on the garden wall.  The names will be listed in chronological order by date of death.  


Landscaping and upkeep of the garden is an ongoing responsibility of the Garden Mission.  The design and planting of the garden will be under the supervision of the Garden Mission.  There will be no individual floral arrangements or other decorations within the garden.  It is anticipated that the garden will be available for interment in perpetuity.  In the event that all plots are used, remains may be reverently interred in previously used spaces, after a period of ten years. The intention is for the interment of ashes in previously used spaces to be in the order in which the spaces were initially used.


All First-Centenary members, past and present, their spouses and children are eligible for interment in the garden. Exceptions will be considered at the discretion of the minister and the Trustees.


The cost for interment only is $600.  The initial deposit is $300, with the balance of $300 due within one year of the deposit. The deposit is payable at the time of application. This cost includes the price of the marker.  The cost of the cremation itself is a separate expense to be determined by a funeral home.  In the event that $600 has been paid and the family decides to make other arrangements, $300 will be returned.  Pre-payment may be made for both options.


Memorial gifts are welcome and may be made to the church at any time. These funds will be placed for the Memorial Garden Refresh Project, reserved for the maintenance and furnishing of the garden.

Application Procedure

Application for burial in the Memorial Garden may be
made in the Church Office.
For more information about The Memorial Garden contact our business manager, Karen Gates, at
For more information about Bereavement matters and how to plan a memorial service, visit our Congregational Care page. 

If you are unsure where your loved one is buried in the memorial garden, please call (423)756-2021 to access the password protected map below