This cemetery (established 1950's) does have an original cemetery established in 1852, but both are affiliated with the same church today. Ebenezer First Cemetery aka (Catalpa Cemetery) is the name of the first cemetery for the Ebenezer community that existed in Pike County, Alabama. This cemetery is about 550 feet down a dirt road from where the church building sits today, but you can't see it from the church because the dirt road has fairly dense woods on both sides. This first cemetery section is still well-maintained and there are fairly recent graves in it. It is also surrounded by a chain link fence and has a granite sign that reads: "Ebenezer First Cemetery". Someone familiar with the area said there used to be a sign for the cemetery that read "Catalpa Cemetery", but it was removed when the new granite sign was installed.
In 1830, William C. Oates settled near Ebenezer, having come from South Carolina, and in about 1852, he gave several acres of land for a church for the community, which was organized that year and was called the Ebenezer Baptist Church. The signage for the Ebenezer First Cemetery indicates that it was established the same year as the church. Mr. Oates is buried in the older section down the dirt road.
A few years later, a new cemetery section was started behind the church building for burials and it was called the Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery by the locals, even though it was actually just an expansion of the original cemetery. The cemetery section behind the church is also surrounded by a chain link fence, but bears no signage other than the church sign in front of the building next to the highway.
Catalpa is the name used by mapmakers and the U.S. Government for this area in Pike County, Alabama, that is known by the locals as Ebenezer, hence either of these two cemetery sections are called the Catalpa Cemetery in some sources. The Pike County Historical and Genealogical Society refers to it as Catalpa (Old Ebenezer) Cemetery and the Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery.
Some obituaries refer to burials here as being at the Oates Cross Roads, rather than a cemetery name, adding further confusion.
Because of the interchangeable names for this cemetery, burials locations are confusing. Therefore, these two sections have been combined together as one cemetery. Anyone visiting this cemetery should go to both cemetery sections, the one a short ways down the dirt road and the other one behind the church.
GPS Coordinates: 31.8794, -85.8314
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #22007
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