Where is the Church, you may ask!
Answer: I do not know!
Update: A friend has informed me that it was not moved but, torn down about a year or so ago.
Wrong! My friend was incorrect.
New Update: I had heard of a church being destoryed by vandals in March but an old historical church that wasn't harming anyone except perhaps those who tired of the youths with their noisy "four-wheelers" who gathered there to party.
Why would they destory a building that shield them from the weather?
Did the county Sheriff Department or Board of Supervisors do a proper job in enforcing the law? What about a contempt of court order. There was no judgements becuase the parents promised to repair the first damage.
We, who have ancestors buried here have a right to know...
First, Yellowleaf Cemetery in 2004 or 2005, now, Union Grove church and cemetery (yes, there appears to have been tombs damaged) if vandals are not punished then, they will continue to vandalize like the ones who have vandalized the Oxford City Parks this month, June 2006. At least they should be required to do community service, like upkeeping the cemetery ffor at least five years. That might teach them to respect Holy Ground.
Yes, this was my surprise when I journeyed out into the heat of 99 degrees Saturday afternoon June 10, 2006, with my walking stick, water, spy-glasses, hat, cell phone and camera to find and take pictures of the tombstones of my grand Aunt Eugenia Jane Gandy Mills and her Mills family.
I decide to take the country dirt and gravel roads from my home a mile north of Paris on CR 430, since CR 477 which intersect with CR 432 was only 1/10 of a mile from my house.
I had my trusty County Road Map and had traced my route before I left home. This was one of the many things, I remember from my Basic Training in the Women Army Corp, survival methods and map reading. I noted that this route would take me past the property her father, my great grand father,William Jefferson Gandy, once owned in the South 1/2 of section 8, T10S R2W on the east corner of the intersection of CRs 477 and 432, where at this intersection you will turn left. Then, after loads of ruts, twists and turns which my little 1997 Buick Century Custom took like a “RAM” truck, I was at my destination. I am an experienced country roads' driver, having been taught to drive on the tough back roads of Texas in the 1950’s. In fact, you might say the old county / western song "Country Roads" was my theme song. I knew to drive slowly and watch the road for ruts and wash outs, being careful not to drag "high center".
The entry to the Church and Cemetery is quite easy to find as it was on my left or west side of the road. I discovered I was only 1.6 miles from County Road 473 which I would travel into Oxford to the St Peter’s Cemetery on Jefferson and Sixteenth Street to find Eugenia and her husband Robert Henry Mills’ grave.
I turned into the parking area and was aghast at the sight of the missing church. The cemetery needed care too; the fence was lying broken at different sections with a large bit in a roll near the north backside of the cemetery.>
UNION GROVE METHODIST CHURCH CEMETERY!
Looking from parking area into cemetery
GYE MILLS, son of R. H. and E. J
I believe the stone to James M Mills left may be that of his wife, Clara Elizabeth Sanders Mills marked with several stones piled on top of the other.
Mills, J. S.
Source: Lafayette County Cemetery Records Vol. I, 1978
I believe his wife; Leanna Helms Mills is buried beside him under the unmarked stone.
Note the small flat stone behind Gye Mills’
d. 21 September 1904
John Berry Mills was his full name.
The following pictures are of the cemetery and interesting tombstones.
Believed to be former Minister of Union Grove Church.
Rev. Wells’ wife.
Newest Tombstone 1982
Appeared to have been vandalized.
Another vandalized in same lot.
Henry Sanders 1924
Very large sturdy lot of the Sparks family.
Roll of wire in foreground between the two trees
Appears to be rumble from a wooden building that was behind where the church appeared to have stood.
Looking toward the northeast side and the County road 432 , fence is broken
Gateway into cemetery from Church and parking lot . Note fence is broken to left of pole.
Another overall view of Cemetery looking from upper northeast corner to southwest corner.
I will end my report here , I have several more views of the overall cemetery and church yard but these give you a general idea of its condition and the tombs in it.
If anyone has pictures of their family tombstones and would like to have them added to this page then , send them by email to Evelyn Crocker, 159 CR 430, Paris, MS 38949.
The members of The Lafayette County Historical and Genealogical Society indexed it in 1972 and again in 1978 . It is recorded in Vol II of the Lafayette County Cemetery Records. They are still in reprint and may be ordered from The Lafayette County Historical and Genealogical Society, INCI have recieved some earlier pictures of this church and cemetery from one of Aunt Eugenia aka Ginny Gandy Mills' great granddaughter, Pamela Bumgardner Dawson.
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