Johns Creek Quietly Preserves and Respects Historical Cemetery

Hidden in a corner tucked between a car wash on Medlock Bridge Road and next to homes in St. Ives Country Club is the historical Macedonia African Methodist Church Cemetery. This cemetery is the resting place for more than 50 graves, including 37 documented grave sites, and many more going unmarked. Many of those at rest were born prior to the American Civil War, and had lived and worked on the plantation of George Morgan Waters who owned most of what is now Johns Creek in the 1800s. An important aspect of this site is that it also includes the grave of April Waters, one of the first emancipated slaves in the state of Georgia.

City Staff cleared debris from the Macedonia African Methodist Church Cemetery and erected a fence to protect the site from vandalism.

Councilman John Bradberry has taken a leading role in preserving and protecting the cemetery, honoring commitments he made prior to his role on City Council. Mr. Bradberry helped to lead efforts attempting to prevent a billboard from being erected near the intersection of Medlock Bridge Road and State Bridge Road, based partially on state laws that restrict billboards within 500 feet of a cemetery. That effort did not succeed, but that didn’t stop Mr. Bradberry from his commitment to find ways to protect the cemetery. Upon joining City Council, Mr. Bradberry worked with City Staff and Mayor Bodker to gain approval for a project to clean the cemetery area, and to erect a fence around it to discourage vandalism. Key support was provided by City Manager Warren Hutmacher who helped to fund and allocate resources to the effort.

Those efforts were completed in October 2018. Very quietly, the City of Johns Creek has taken steps to preserve an historic site, and to pay honor to those souls at rest in our city.

Councilman Bradberry stated, “I believe it’s important for Johns Creek to protect ties to our past. This burial ground has historical significance, and deserves to be respected and honored. I’m grateful that the City has taken the steps necessary to preserve this sacred ground.”

Being among the first to admit that Preserve Johns Creek tends to focus on what we believe to be concerns with over-development in our community, we’re very pleased to see our city investing in the preservation of our history. Many thanks and our appreciation go to City Manager Hutmacher, Mayor Bodker, City Council, City Staff, and Councilman Bradberry for your leadership in these efforts.