LAID TO REST: Kershaw County residents given long overdue funeral at Camden church

CAMDEN, SC (WOLO) — Sometimes when a person dies, their family is no longer around or does not have the money to give them a proper burial.

This was the case for 10 Kershaw County residents and their community decided to give them a final resting place.

“Be with us as we go from this place. Be with us Lord God as we commit these bodies to your care,” said Dr. Craig Thompson, Malvern Hill Baptist Church pastor.

“We started lining this thing up about two years ago. We ended up with two coffins coming into our office donated that were found,” said David West, Kershaw County coroner.

A funeral for 10 unclaimed Kershaw County residents laid to rest at Malvern Hill Baptist Church cemetery. 

“It’s the first one we’ve done,” West said. “We have 11 bodies, but one of them got taken care of at Fort Jackson. It was done and the flag is in my office. He had no one.”

Not only were the caskets donated but also the hearse and plots. 

The remains have been identified but were unable to be given a proper funeral for one reason or another.

“We know who they are. We know everybody in there,” the coroner said. “Some families lived out of town and didn’t want to come. Some didn’t have the money to take care of it. We’re not knocking any of them. Everybody is in hard times.”

Sometimes, the person did not have any remaining family left. The 10 remains were accumulated over eight years and the coroner felt he needed to do something for them. 

“Well, I don’t like to see them sitting there. If it were my loved one, I’d love to give them a good sending off,” West said. “Now, they’re at a church here and had a good funeral.”

At Thursday’s funeral, the pastor left the Kershaw County residents present with this charge. 

“Go from this place committed to do all that we can to bring others into not only the welcoming arms of Kershaw County but also the welcoming arms of Jesus Christ who promises life eternally in the presence of his father,” Thompson said.

Categories: Kershaw, Local News