African Methodist Episcopal Church
95-18 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights, New York 11372
Rev. Kimberly L. Detherage, Esq., PastorAfter almost five years of testing, investigation and research, the 150-year old mummy, the Iron Coffin Lady, uncovered at a construction site that was once the graveyard on the first site of today’s Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be commemorated, memorialized and buried on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, November 5th, 6th and 7th. The officers and members of St. Mark have planned a memorial reception, traditional funeral and burial befitting this historic figure who is a past parishioner of the church.
The memorial reception will commence at 11am Saturday, November 5th and feature exhibits and presentations that interweave the history of African American burial grounds and the church’s history with the possible story of the Iron Coffin Lady’s past life. Donations to offset the costs of the burial, memorial park creation and maintenance are encouraged and greatly appreciated.
Speakers will include archaeologist Scott Warnash, PhD, who was working out of the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office identifying 9/11 remains when he was called to the site in Queens to examine what was thought to be a murder victim’s remains. Warnash, who has made an extensive study of iron coffins and the remains found inside them, will speak on their history as well as the possible identification of the Iron Coffin lady through her DNA and artifacts.
Sandra Arnold of the Periwinkle Project, named for the flower found in many ancient African American burial grounds and operating out of Brown University, is an ongoing documenter of African American graveyards will address the commonalities and peculiarities of these graveyards as well as the database she is compiling of these sites.
Professor Gerald Conlogue, PhD, of Quinnipiac University, who has extensively studied and scanned the mummified remains, will relate his findings on the Iron Coffin Lady. There will also be a report of research findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The traditional funeral will be on Sunday, November 6th at 4pm at St. Mark AME Church on Northern Boulevard and 96th Street in Queens. The Iron Coffin Lady will be eulogized by St. Mark’s Pastor Kimberly L. Detherage, Esquire, and the service will feature tributes from the church family as well as officials of the AME Church. The funeral follows the church’s morning worship service.
The Iron Coffin Lady will be buried at Flushing Cemetery in Flushing, Queens from St Mark Church. The procession will leave St. Mark on Monday, November 7th at 9:30 am, and the Iron Coffin Lady will be re-interred and her body finally laid to rest.
They uncovered a slave grave site in Manhattan and it became a national park.
They uncovered one in Queens and it became condos.
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