2018-08-31 / Society

First Baptist of Lykesland dedicates Stella’s Rose Garden

By Anita Baker

Stella’s Rose Garden at First Baptist of Lykesland Stella’s Rose Garden at First Baptist of Lykesland The people of First Baptist Church of Lykesland in Hopkins have built a cremation garden. It’s called Stella’s Rose Garden and is dedicated to Stella Brewster, a former church member who died ten years ago.

Dr. O’dell Belger, pastor at First Baptist Church of Lykesland, led the dedication ceremony Sunday, August 26, with the church congregation, guests, and members of Stella Brewster’s family who have kept her ashes over the past ten years.

Stella is remembered as a faithful and active member of the First Baptist of Lykesland congregation and is the first member of the church to be buried in the cremation garden.

Stella’s Rose Garden is intended to be a place of reflection and peace built on the property of First Baptist of Lykesland just adjacent to the sanctuary building. The cremation garden also offers a place of permanency for those who wish to be cremated.

Charlie Kelly (l) and Dr. Odell Belger Charlie Kelly (l) and Dr. Odell Belger Pastor Belger shared that cremation is now the choice of 46 percent of families facing burial decisions for a loved one. He shared, “Often those who choose to have the ashes of a loved one at home in an urn create a future problem. When these family members die, someone will eventually have to decide what to do with the ashes.”

A cremation garden provides a permanent, final resting place for the individual and a site where families can visit for years to come. Pastor Belger believes Stella’s Rose Garden is the first of its kind in the region and hopes other church congregations will choose to make the same accommodations for their members.

Stella’s Rose Garden was built by Pastor Belger and an elder member of the church, Charlie Kelly. Kelly, age 84, worked tirelessly to build the garden and Pastor Belger built the brick wall facing the garden. A plaque was placed in honor of Charlie Kelly on the “Reflection Wall” near the garden in gratitude for his hard work in building the garden.

Plots are only available to First Baptist of Lykesland church members. There is no cost to church members who use the garden, and they are only required to provide a plaque for the burial site.

First Baptist of Lykesland was founded in 1988 in the Lykesland community in Hopkins. It is an Independent Baptist Church with a small but growing congregation. The church is located at 2712 Trotter Road in Hopkins.

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