Greenwood Cemetery Elder Preston Taylor Annual Banquet

The Greenwood Cemetery Inc. Board of Directors and Management held their Annual Elder Preston Taylor Banquet on Sunday December 11th, at the Millennium Maxwell House. This year marked the 128th anniversary celebration, honoring some of the people who have made and continue to make, the historic resting place memorable.

Greenwood Cemetery Inc. is comprised of four Nashville based locations, but known and recognized worldwide for its intrinsic beauty, history and value to African American’s and the community at large. The three locations are: 1. The Preston Taylor Mausoleum and Columbarium 1428 Elm Hill Pike (erected in 2012) Nashville, TN. – Greenwood Cemetery: The historical site formerly referred to as Main – 1428 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN, 2. Greenwood Cemetery –West, 820 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN. and 3.Greenwood Cemetery-North, 1248 South Dickerson Road, Goodlettsville, TN.

Founded in 1887, (established in 1888) Elder Preston Taylor purchased thirty-seven acres of land near “Buttermilk Ridge” at Elm Hill Road and Spence Lane on which he established the Greenwood Cemetery in 1888.  Preston, along with three other gentlemen, had planned to purchase this land together for $30,000. Preston was the only one who followed through on the transaction. His purpose was to mainly provide first class burial space that would be available at minimal cost for the African American population of Nashville, in particular, and for the surrounding communities.  In his Will he deeded the cemetery to the National Christian Missionary Convention of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); it remains, yet today, a non-profit establishment.

Dwayne L. Bell, Sr. Presiding Manager, Greenwood Cemetery kicked off the evening with greetings to all An array of upbeat and smooth dance music was provided by Laura Vida (band style).  Invocation from Board Member Beverly Dickason (fragment). The welcome was given by Board Chair Reverend, Dr. William Lee. Owner, Fasten Funeral Home and MTFD, MA, Inc President, William Jenkins delivered the greetings and the occasion was provided by Administrative Secretary, Reverend Dr. Timothy James. Music was provided throughout the meal and the program resumed with additional greetings from Reverend.

Dr. Cristal Williams, President and Regional Minister of Tennessee. Dwayne Bell, Sr. presented some prestigious awards and a couple of the awardees were pleasantly surprised. After more acknowledgements, introductions and remarks were delivered from Dwayne Bell, Sr. guest were invited to mix, mingle, network and to take advantage of the dancing until 9:30 pm.

Dwayne Bell, Sr. left no thanked and recognized his family: wife Beverly Walker Bell, son, Dwayne Bell, Jr. (it happened to be his birthday that evening), and daughter, Honorable General Sessions Judge Rachel L. Bell, along with his own minister, Reverend Dr. Judy Cummings and the Greenwood Cemetery Inc staff. 

As he acknowledged the staff, and others, he noted that “this is an event which we look forward to hosting. An affair where we show our appreciation and acknowledge and thank our  supporters for their day to day, extreme importance and how they work collectively to keep things running smoothly.”

For over 120 years the final resting place(s) known as Greenwood has continuously served the Nashville community for 115 years as a nonprofit corporation.  Greenwood Cemetery is steeped in beauty, history, and tradition and all
income goes into perpetual care, operation, and scholarships for students majoring in religious education.

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About Deborah A Culp
Deborah A. Culp

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