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Sardis Baptist Church plans special Memorial Day Service

by Tina Canon

STAFF WRITER

American flags will line the roadway leading to the Sardis Cemetery Sunday for the third annual Memorial Day service sponsored by Sardis Baptist Church.

The event began when church member Derek French passed away, said Heather Beachler, church publicist.

"We thought a memorial service would be a nice way to remember not only Derek but all lost loved ones," she said.

Church members will begin placing and lighting luminaries, which citizens purchased for $1 each, on 100 of the more than 600 graves at 7 p.m. In case of rain, a service will be held at Sardis Baptist Church.

"The flags are a new edition this year," Beachler said. "The 5x8 flags are donated by family members in memory of the loss of their loved ones."

Songs of inspiration will be delivered by soloist Terry Hardman and Lincoln High School student Stephanie Miller.

"We are pleased to have Dr. Mike Stevens, area minister of the Judson Association for the West Virginia Baptist Association, delivering the message," said Beachler.

"Proceeds from the sale of the luminaries benefit the Derek French Memorial Scholarship, which is given to two Harrison County students in the amount of $500 each," she said.

Cheryl French, Derek's mother, said her son died in 1998 of complications from seizures. "He was a student at Liberty High School and a member of the church."

Persons interested in purchasing flags or luminaries can call Carla Cottrill at 783-5313. Items will be available for purchase before the service.

Staff writer Tina Canon can be reached at 626-1404 or by e-mail at tcanon@exponent-telegram.com.

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