I had become a member of Grace Lutheran Church in 1977, and in 2014 I decided to document church members who were using the columbarium garden for remembrance or to store their cremation ashes. Later, besides documenting the columbarium, I researched former members and families. I show much of the collected information separately in a Find A Grave Virtual Cemetery.
Church Membership Information
I have classified people with some relationship to the congregation informally in three categories, as follows.
- Anyone named on any roster of the congregation, including its columbarium niches
- Former Members:
- A once-Member who was removed for any reason other than death (e.g., because of transferral to another church)
- Someone in the dataset who is related to a Member or Former Member
Church congregations tend to distinguish formally among several categories of membership for statistical purposes, based on such events as baptism, confirmation and attendance records. These membership classifications per se are not very meaningful to this website, although some personal narratives may contain incidental information about the life events that define formal membership categories.
This is a partial list of resources especially used for the Lutheran Church membership narratives.
- Columbarium memorial garden Names on the niche panels are regarded as "members" ipso facto, whereas the memorial wall names a mixture of nonmembers, people whose ashes were scattered here, and members buried in other places than here.
- Find A Grave Virtual Cemetery This dataset includes the columbarium records and associated Find A Grave records from elsewhere
- Church Windows database [proprietary church records management software] internal database of Grace Lutheran Church membership records I exported in 2009.
- North Carolina Synod ELCA Life Sketches of North Carolina Clergy