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Robbins woman to be buried at different church Thursday

Posted February 28, 2013

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— A Moore County woman who was denied burial at the Robbins church that sits on her ancestor's land and where her family laid grave markers 30 years ago will be buried Thursday at a different area church.

A funeral is scheduled Thursday for Delphia Lee Maness, who died Monday at the age of 69. She will be buried at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Robbins, where her sons said they were welcomed with open arms after the burial dispute was featured on WRAL News.

Bernie and Todd Maness said Monday that they had planned to bury their mother at Acorn Ridge Baptist Church, but the church turned them away because she wasn't an active member there.

The brothers said their family donated the land to Acorn Ridge Baptist Church in 1891 and that dozens of their ancestors and family members are buried in its cemetery.

"My family gave them the ground it sits on," Bernie Maness said Monday. "Now my mom can't be buried there with her family."

In 1981, the family reserved four burial plots for Delphia Maness, her husband and two sons. Bernie and Todd Maness said the church had no rule at the time that only church members could be buried there.

Pastor John Williamson said Monday that the decision was made by the church's Board of Trustees and that his hands were tied. He and other church leaders declined to speak Tuesday. 

The Maness family also donated land to Pleasant Hill Methodist Church years ago, and the cemetery there is named after them.


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  • johnjohn Mar 6, 2013

    In reference to the Acorn Ridge story:
    In 2004, the same thing happened to my family at Acorn Ridge. We have told no one, but I believe the time is right for the whole story to be told.

  • oleguy Mar 5, 2013

    Forgive me Lord, But my Brothers and I would be digging a grave on that lot.I kept my mouth shut till now. But a hole or several holes would be dug, or someone would have to pry the shovel from my cold dead Hands.

  • iwasjustsaying Mar 5, 2013

    @stanglvr -

    if these are the "facts", why where they not relayed to anyone...and why do they chose not to comment?

  • mustang74 Mar 4, 2013

    I live in robbins and let me set some of the facts straight. I know this church and the pastor well. It's his way or none at all. This is not the first family that had arrangements for family burial that when the time came they were turned away with an unkind message. Also there have been others buried there in the past few years that were not members. Its about who you know. This is not the christian way to turn your back on people in there time of need. Now those are the real facts.

  • Elem-Teach Mar 4, 2013


    I just looked on the map of Acorn Ridge. It looks as though the church cemetery has lots of room for expansion. The road goes to an empty field with NO headstones. To be sure the church could have allowed her a spot on this EMPTY ground!

  • stanglvr Mar 1, 2013

    go to acornridge.org. Get the real facts.

  • tbarham Mar 1, 2013

    as a Pastor's wife..let me clarify something for you all. Just because he is the minister does not mean he runs the church..church is run like a business...the boards make policy and enforce it..I am not saying what they did is right. but to bash the minister is WRONG...that is like blaming your coworker for YOU not getting a raise..he does not have the AUTHORITY to make it happen...

  • shortcake53 Mar 1, 2013

    This is the MOST shameful thing I have ever heard of and I hope the members of this "church" are really proud of themselves. Money grubbing hypocrites is what they have shown themselves to be. Honor, respectability, and doing what is right better not show up in any future sermons, as this church has no business speaking of things they themselves do not practice.

  • superman Mar 1, 2013

    If the "church" and I use that word lightly--has a side perhaps they could type up their side it put it on the "church" web site. They say nothing because their excuse has no merit. I feel sorry for the "minister" his love of money is greater than his love of God and his word.

  • superman Mar 1, 2013

    dennis23-- The "minister" is the one who stands up and preaches and gets paid. He is morally obligated to stand up and express his concerns whenever the church is in the "wrong". The minister should not look the other way and dismiss his role in the church. When he does nothing he becomes part of the problem. Does it make a difference whether they purchased a plot-reserved a plot or whatever. She has family there. Do the right thing and not the legal thing. There is no church there--just a building where people go.