The First United Methodist Church of Shreveport is offering persons associated with the church and their families a simple, dignified option to a traditional burial as a final resting place for their loved ones. Located between the Sanctuary and Couch Chapel below the Eternal Flame, the Columbarium in the Memorial Garden is a beautiful, peaceful location to serve as the final resting place for people who choose cremation for their loved ones.
The Columbarium fulfills the obligation of the church to serve its members from baptism to death, provides a faithful stewardship option and offers a final homecoming for church members. Historically, the church has been the final resting place of deceased members within the church building or an associated burial ground. Burial inside the church was at one time reserved to honor the noteworthy clerics, nobles, and other important citizens. Today, a columbarium allows God’s people to be laid to rest within the church building or grounds.
The ministry of First United Methodist Church serves its members in many joys and concerns of life and of death. Historically, churches provided a final resting place for deceased members either in an associated cemetery or in a church building. In lieu of traditional in-ground burial, now members increasingly select cremation; thus, the First United Methodist Church provides a columbarium for dignified placement of earthly remains after cremation. Cremation and inurnment in a columbarium are theologically appropriate in United Methodism and in many other Christian traditions. The Columbarium deepens the sacredness of the Church’s sanctuary and Memorial Garden. It provides continuing Christian reverence, respect, and honor to the deceased.
What is a Columbarium?
A columbarium is a repository to house the ashes from a loved one’s cremation. The ashes are placed in a container that fits in a small compartment called a niche. The columbarium could be thought of as an alternative to the “church cemetery,” only vertical and compact.
The columbarium of First United Methodist Church is a modular structure installed within the walls of the churchyard between the chapel and the sanctuary in the Memorial Garden. It consists of 294 niches sized to receive the cremains of one or two deceased persons. Two urns are provided with each niche. A granite niche cover is provided for engraving with the name of the deceased along with the years of birth and death.
Who may use the Columbarium?
Inurnment in the Columbarium is available to any member or former member of the Church, United Methodist clergy, employees and former employees of the Church, and spouses, parents, and the children of the foregoing persons.
How do I acquire a niche space?
An eligible person may acquire usage of a niche for a one-time fee of $2,500.00 by completing an application provided by the Columbarium Committee. Once the application is approved, a Certificate of Inurnment Rights is sent to the subscriber.
What is included in the fee?
The fee includes inurnment, an urn for each of two decedents, inscription of the niche faceplate, and perpetual care of the Columbarium by the Church. The fee does not include off-church-premises expenses.
May I select my niche?
The subscriber may select from available spaces in the Columbarium structure.
What happens if I acquire a niche and decide not to use it?
The church will reacquire the niche space as stated in Section 5.e. of the policy document. Niche space cannot be sold or transferred unilaterally by the subscriber and may only be used by those listed in the original certificate of acquisition.
Columbarium Information Request
The Columbarium Committee, appointed by the Pastor and approved by the Church Council, oversees the operation of the Columbarium.
For an application or for additional information, call the church at 318.424.7771. A member of the committee or a pastor will be pleased to visit with you.
Detailed Policies of governance and administration are available at the church office and linked below.