Local Eagle Project Leaves Mark for the Next 100 Years
Eagle Scout from Troop 1830 created 12 headstones for families unable to provide one for their deceased relatives in local Duluth Cemetery.
Members of the Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church have family members buried beside the church-owned cemetery, with more than 70 graves unmarked or without a proper headstone. Ketchem's Unmarked Graves Headstone Project was approved by his district's Eagle Board on Saturday, October 27, 2018.
Ketchem wrote on his eagle report that he worked with the core project team to figure out timing for the different phases of the project. He reached out to Deacon Nelson T. Elvin & Sylvia Jarrell from Mt. Carmel Church to get the list of names and dates for the 12 headstones they were going to make. He then created a sign-up sheet to recruit volunteers for different project phases at his church the next weekend after the project was approved. Dozens of volunteers donated material contributions and time to help with the project.
There were 14 volunteers who donated 89 hours for the project that started on November 1, 2018 and culminated on December 22, 2018.
When asked what was most rewarding about leading this eagle project, Ketchem wrote, "Finishing the project and helping other families preserve the memory of their loved ones."
Ketchem was mentored by fellow Eagle Scout, Preston Baumgart, who led the creation of the first set of headstones for the Mt. Carmel Cemetery from August 8, 2018 to September 3, 2018. Preston's mother, Michelle Baumgart, was the project headstone data researcher.
The Ketchem family hopes that other upcoming Eagle Scouts or community volunteers will consider doing the same project to finish the task of preserving family histories for the members of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. Ketchem is a senior at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, GA.
For more information about the American Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project, visit http://www.apcrp.org/
Photo (L-R) Apalachee Eagle Board Members: Lee S. Paine, Garrett Coffee, Aaron Poulsen; Eagle Scout: Masayoshi Ketchem & his Scoutmaster, Brad Folkman at Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church on 1/26/19. Photo Credit: Shoji Ketchem.