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Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Salem Moravian Graveyard

 
 
Salem Moravian Graveyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 13, 2012
1. Salem Moravian Graveyard Marker
Inscription. The Moravian Graveyard is still known fondly by the old Germanic name of "Godís Acre" (Gottesacker). This burial ground is characterized by its simplicity and uniformity. As the name implies, this is a field where the bodies are "sown as perishable seed" to await the day when they will be raised in an "imperishable form."

Here the departed are buried chronologically, in the order in which they are "called home to be with the Lord."

Here are no statues or monuments to distinguish the graves of the rich from those of the poor. The recumbent stones remind us of the equality of the dead in Godís sight.

The visitor will soon note that the men, women, and children are buried separately. This is a continuation of the "Choir System" introduced in Herrnhut, Saxony by Count Zinzendorf, the renewer of the Moravian Church. The congregation was divided into groups according to age, sex, and marital status so that each individual might be cared for spiritually according to their differing needs. At worship the "choirs" also sat together in the church, the Brethren and boys on one side, the Sisters and girls on the other. When death came, then, the departed were buried, not in earthly families, but as they had been seated in the church, Brethren on the one side, Sisters on the other, the choirs together, continuing the
Salem Moravian Graveyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 13, 2012
2. Salem Moravian Graveyard Marker
form of the congregation at worship.

Godís Acre is still used by the Salem Congregation, comprised of twelve of the Moravian Churches within the city of Winston-Salem. The dead are still buried according to the "choir system."

On the Saturday before Easter the members of the Salem Congregation churches decorate the graves, so that each grave has flowers on it and the graveyard becomes like a large garden where the famous Easter Sunrise Service is held, continuing a tradition begun in 1735 in Herrnhut and first observed here in 1772.

On Easter morning the Congregation comes here as the "Church Militant" to affirm amid the grave of the "Church Triumphant" their faith in the "Risen Lord."
 
Location. 36° 5.536′ N, 80° 14.529′ W. Marker is in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in Forsyth County. Touch for map. Located just inside entrance on Cemetery Street. Marker is in this post office area: Winston Salem NC 27101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Salem Moravian Graveyard (here, next to this marker); R. J. Reynolds (within shouting distance of this marker); N.C. Federation of Women's Clubs (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mickey Coffee Pot
Salem Moravian Graveyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, April 13, 2012
3. Salem Moravian Graveyard Marker
(about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Salem Town Hall (about 600 feet away); Salem Concert Hall (about 800 feet away); 26th N.C. Regimental Band (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wm. Cyrus Briggs (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winston-Salem.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches, Etc.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 14, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 30 times this year. Last updated on April 21, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 14, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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