De Muth


Screenshot 2023-01-13 at 1.50.18 PM


Reportando la Verdad.
Restauración de la Iglesia.

Grandmother Laid to Rest in Church Cemetery, After Being Denied for Allegedly Not Tithing

By Liz Lykins
grandmother garrison
On Nov. 10, 2023, Alice "Sallie" Mae Garrison was buried in the cemetery of First Baptist Church Hollins in Roanoke, Va. (Photos: Alycia Garrison / Facebook)

When Alice “Sallie” Garrison passed this August, her dying wish was to be buried at First Baptist Church Hollins (FBCH) in Roanoke, Virginia. The 82-year-old wanted to be laid to rest beside her parents, siblings, and other extended family members, but the church initially denied her request because of her alleged failure to tithe, The Roanoke Times informado.

FBCH Pastor Rev. Harvey Saunders reportedly told Garrison’s family members that their deceased loved one had been removed from church membership for failing to tithe. Church bylaws prohibit non church member from being buried in the church’s cemetery, The Roanoke Times said.

Now after months of dispute, Garrison is finally buried at the church to which she had been committed her whole life, family members announced en Facebook.

When Pastor Saunders denied the burial request, her family contested his claims that Garrison had stopped tithing, The Roanoke Times reported. The family alleged that she continued to give to the church despite health issues that kept her from regularly attending.

Her family said Garrison had sent 22 checks to the church between 2016 and 2023. Garrison’s last check was sent on Jan. 3 for $400. Totaling $1,765 , the family told The Roanoke Times that all in checks have been cashed.

Give a gift of $50 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism” by Tim Alberta. To donate, haga clic aquí.

first baptist church hollins
First Baptist Church Hollins in Roanoke, Va. (Photo: Facebook)

Garrison had long been involved with the church, and even accepted Christ at FBCH at young age, according to her obituary. While attending FBCH, she quickly gravitated toward music and used her “strong and powerful alto voice” to sing in the church choir and found its youth choir, the obituary added.

She also facilitated a youth summer program at FBCH.

“Her dying wish was to be buried in that (church) cemetery,” her son Gregory Garrison told The Roanoke Times.

In September, Brenda Hale, leader of Roanoke’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said she unsuccessfully attempted to intercede on Garrison’s behalf.

“She was baptized there,” Hale said. “She was a vibrant member for years. She started a choir there. She was someone to be respected.”

Hale added that Garrison lived on Social, but still managed to donate whatever she could.

Following Hale’s advocacy, Garrison’s family launched a cambio.org petition in September to ensure Garrison received the “proper burial she deserves.”

The petition said that Garrison was a devoted church member and the “backbone” of the musical department. 

“Our beloved mother’s unwavering faithfulness and dutifulness to her church throughout the decades has ended in utter and shear disrespect rendered by the attending church pastor,” the petition stated. “Our goal is to bury our mom in her rightful place, a place where she grew up and a place where she worshipped and was adored by those who knew her.”

The petition alleges that Garrison was removed from church membership without “proper notification.”

“We firmly believe that it is an injustice and a gross act of discrimination that a religious institution has denied its member the right of burial,” the petition added. “Her entire family that preceded her in death is buried in the cemetery. Only five months ago her beloved sister was buried there.”

The petition has received more than 14,700 signatures. 

Saunders and FBCH finally yielded and allowed Garrison to be buried at the church’s cemetery. This past Friday she was laid to rest. 

Garrison’s granddaughter, Alycia Garrison, announced the burial of her grandmother on a Facebook post. “We, the Garrison family cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of love and support that you have shown our family, from all corners of the earth,” she said.

Garrison’s daughter, Kathy Garrison, similarly expressed gratitude on Facebook. “I am so pleased to announce that this opportunity has brought out the very best in everyone of you towards us,” Kathy escribió. “Your acts of kindness are unforgettable and we will forever love you for all the sweet things you have done for us.”

Freelance journalist Liz Lykins escribe for WORLD Magazine, Christianity Today, Ministry Watch, and other publications.



¡Manténgase en contacto con Julie y reciba actualizaciones en su bandeja de entrada!

No te preocupes, no te enviaremos spam.

Más para explorar

17 Respuestas

  1. Why is this national news?

    It sounds like just an attempt to paint Christians as greedy by publicizing a sad story about a disagreement over whether someone should have been dropped from membership and was notified properly.

    1. In this forum, it’s much more than a story about a denominational policy … it’s yet another story of how sharply the Church has lost its way.

      Our only mission in this world, our Great Commission, is to go and make disciples. Show me anywhere in this situation where Christ was glorified. Find a single Biblical truth being exercised. Tell me what about this situation would cause someone to say: “that Christianity thing is something I think I’ll look into.”

      This IS a story about greedy Christians. There should literally never be one, because there is no place in Scripture that allows for this type of wretched behavior.

      There’s nothing to defend here, and we shouldn’t even try. Shame on us if we don’t see the damage this type of situation does to those who need to see why Jesus matters. Because that’s all that Church is supposed to be about.

    2. That was my thought as well. If the church had a rule that only members were to be buried in the church’s own cemetery, then this should have been a private conflict between the deacons and this family as to whether or not this woman’s membership was properly revoked in accordance with the denominations by-laws. Instead, it is framed as “Church shakes down last few coins from dead woman’s pockets so that she can be buried”.

    3. Eric:

      Since this is Julie’s site she gets to decide what is newsworthy and not you. Why are you so sensitive about what folk think of “christians.”?

    4. Certainly, this story doesn’t involve a large, national church or national figures. Yet, from a newsworthiness point of view, this story definitely sitcks out for two major elements: its human interest and conflict. Plus, tithing has been an issue in which many readers of TRR have shown an interest.

  2. Needs no comment. “The Garrison immediate family – son Gregory, and daughters, Kathy and Melanie – claim that after speaking with the pastor at First Hollins Baptist Church, Alice Garrison couldn’t be buried there because church officials said she was taken off the roll. They said she did not attend services or pay tithes, or church dues.” https://blackchristiannews.com/2023/09/watch-the-devil-is-busy-daniel-whyte-iii-president-of-gospel-light-society-international-tells-rev-harvey-saunders-of-first-baptist-church-of-hollins-in-roanoke-virginia-that-this-mess-sounds-l/

    1. The article’s title is “Grandmother Laid to Rest in Church Cemetery, After Being Denied for Allegedly Not Tithing.” A better title would be “Grandmother Laid to Rest in Church Cemetery, After Allegedly Being Denied for Not Tithing.”
      We don’t know why she was dropped as a member, except for what the family said, and the article linked by Daniel Busetti says that the family also said she didn’t attend the church. Maybe that is because she was in a wheelchair, maybe it’s because she’d switched churches, maybe she really didn’t want to go to church. We don’t know. Even if we did, it then becomes a dispute over exact reasons for dropping one member of a church. And we aren’t told the details.

      The story is more interesting that a petition campaign by outsiders, probably even non-Christians, pressured a church to give someone membership privileges.

  3. My goodness. What a disgraceful un-Christlike attitude from this church. The words of Jesus come to mind. ” Go and learn what this means – I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

  4. It is news that needs to be told, the world wide church needs to stop pretending that there real major problems our leadership in every denomination. The types and names of the sin disease are many in our leadership and they affect preachers that are popular and well known to the hardly known. The story is not about greed, it is about the insensitivity and cruelty those in positions of power inflicting pain to the sheep the are entrusted to lead……Julie , please continue to publish these stories to expose those who have no moral or ethical compass and have no love for those they serve.

  5. eric,

    I think this sad story deserved wider coverage. First off, churches are often too quick to dismiss members. I’ve seen churches get fired up about cleaning up the rolls of those members who don’t attend regularly. But the elderly sometimes have health issues that prevent regular attendance.

    Add in the fact that she was a choir member for years AND founded the church’s youth choir, and it seems that she was quite a devoted member. Surely her non-cash contributions to the church should matter.

    I’m glad that the church granted her and her family’s wishes regarding burial in the end.

  6. God is God. He doesn’t need our money to accomplish His will.

    The church needs our money to pay the bills, keep the lights on, and fund good works.

    What we do to obtain money, and how we spend it is a reflection of what we value.

    A pastor monitoring the giving, of an elderly member, in poor health, on a fixed income, who has contributed to the life of the church, then evaluating her worth based on her financial giving, says volumes about what that pastor values.

  7. Beyond the specifics of this case, this article does raise several issues worthy of consideration.:

    -How does a church keep contact with members who become old, infirm, incapacitated, etc?
    -Should tithing be a factor in consideration of membership and burial rights?
    -If Tithing is a factor, what are the expectations of the poor, fixed income, or those being medicallyand/or financialy overseen by another individual?

    In a time where folks can often live many years longer than their ability to be mobile and to control their own finances perhaps churches can do a better job extending contact and the privileges of church membership to them. As the age of churchgoers increases situations like these can only become more common.

  8. Dr. Andrew Farley’s Biblical teaching (see Chapter 11 of his book “The Grace Message”, or at page 140 of Farley’s helpful book “101 Bible Questions”) on how the Old Testament Law tithe requirement no longer applies to New Covenant believers today is well worth studying.

  9. Tithing is an Old Testament law to provide Levites with income as they had no other way to support themselves. They were appointed Gods agents [Priests] performing daily sacrifices of animals, grains, etc. The 11 other tribes were able to farm, work, earn income, to support themselves. God required 10% of the 11 tribes first fruits to be brought in to the temple to provide support to these priests. These priests butchered animals daily, burning portions of these animals, the upkeep, maintenance, must have been back breaking work. Blood spilled, animal renderings, etc.. God commanded the best of 11 tribes fist 10% He blessed them with. Bring in the tithe of the increase to my Temple, Levites needed this support for themselves and their families. When the temple sacrifice ended in AD 70, But b4 this, Jesus Joshua Christ was the final sacrifice once and for all. The Tithe system was no longer required as Jesus Himself is the new High Priest and daily bloody sacrifices are ended/ no longer needed. Demanding tithes in our modern suburban 501C-3 cosignatory organized religious institutions, is quite questionable. It seems a miss appropriation of a law no longer valid.

  10. Obviously I don’t know the details from both sides, but on the surface it seems sad that a church doesn’t take any and every opportunity to provide Christian ministry to a family in mourning. Who knows how the Spirit would use such commitment to the gospel and the Christian calling given generous expression!

Deja una respuesta

El Informe Roys busca fomentar el diálogo reflexivo y respetuoso. Con ese fin, el sitio requiere que las personas se registren antes de comenzar a comentar. Esto significa que no se permitirán comentarios anónimos. Además, se eliminarán todos los comentarios con blasfemias, insultos y/o un tono desagradable.
Artículos MÁS populares

¡No te pierdas las historias que importan!

Regístrese para recibir nuestro Daily News Digest


Hola. Vemos que este es el tercer artículo de este mes que ha encontrado que vale la pena leer. ¡Estupendo! ¿Consideraría hacer una donación deducible de impuestos para ayudar a nuestros periodistas a continuar informando la verdad y restaurar la iglesia?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $50 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory:
American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism” by Tim Alberta.