Vandals destroy headstones at local church cemetery

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Vandals uprooted nearly a dozen gravestones at Cedar Grove AME Zion Church sometime late last week. Some of the markers like this one date to the mid-1900s while others are even older. Shavonne Potts/Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — Someone destroyed headstones at a local church cemetery causing about $10,000 worth of damage, said Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

Cedar Grove AME Zion Church, located in the Barber community, reported the vandalism on Friday and believes it occurred sometime overnight or early that morning. A deputy went to the church, located at 2430 Hildebrand Road, and spoke with church trustee William Cuthbertson who said he arrived Friday morning to mow the lawn and found someone had knocked over about 10 headstones.

Cuthbertson said the same thing happened three weeks ago when about seven headstones were broken. Some of the grave markers date to the 1800s, he said.

Cuthbertson noted that most of the damaged headstones were from older graves and estimated the damage at $1,000 each. Some headstones were uprooted while others were broken in half. The headstones were last known to be fine the night before.