Local News

Robbins woman to be buried at different church Thursday

Posted February 28, 2013 12:02 a.m. EST
Updated February 28, 2013 12:09 a.m. EST

— 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.