RENNERT — Efforts to restore a cemetery monument that has stood for more than 80 years have paid off for those who appreciate its presence in the community.
On a recent afternoon, two new mayors and a new minister had a chance to get to know one another during a steering committee meeting at the Duncan McNair Monument in Rennert. The new mayors are Elizabeth Locklear of Rennert and Gerald Weindel of St. Pauls. The new minister is Pastor P.J. Southam of St. Pauls Presbyterian Church.
The Steering Committee is composed of descendants of Duncan McNair and interested parties from the Rennert area. Rocky Williamson, minister of the Welcome Holiness Church; his brother, Bobby Williamson; and Julian Butler are the main movers and shakers in maintaining the monument grounds. The monument itself is an imposing obelisk constructed in 1935 to honor the first ruling elder of the St. Pauls Presbyterian Church, organized in 1799, and subsequently the namesake of the town of St. Pauls.
There are more remaining wooden grave markers located in the cemetery than found in any other area cemeteries. Adjacent to the McNair site is a well-kept Tolar Cemetery, which is enclosed with a sturdy wrought iron fence. The Tolar family was instrumental in the early development and growth of Rennert, and the Tolar descendants are very active in maintaining their ancestors’ final resting place.