Funeral Policies and Procedures

Mount Jezreel Baptist Church Funeral Policies and Procedures

The following policy and procedures govern the conduct of all funerals and memorial services for members of Mount Jezreel Baptist Church. The congregation has no obligation to provide the same services to non-members nor to families whose deceased relative is not a member of Mount Jezreel Baptist Church. Circumstances may warrant the church to offer some services to persons who are non-members; however, they will be on a case-by-case basis. There may be an occasion when a member has an immediate family member for whom the church may choose to offer services. We define IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS as spouses, children, parents, parental guardians, siblings, and grandparents. The church will seek to honor the wishes of the immediate family for the conduct of the service as faithfully as we can without compromising our beliefs and practices.

Funeral Services for Members and Attendees:

  • The church office should be notified as soon as possible when a death has occurred. The office can be reached by calling (301) 431-2800. If the church office is closed, the family member should contact the Lay Pastor (Deacon Robert Barnard) or the Assistant Lay Pastor (Deacon Fred Haynes) of the Diaconate ministry.
  • The Senior Pastor, as well as the Diaconate ministry, will contact the immediate family to offer prayer and spiritual support. The Lay Pastor of Administration (Sis. Carolyn Alston) will contact the family to begin the process of planning for the funeral service.
  • The Senior Pastor reserves the right to conduct all funeral services at Mount Jezreel Baptist Church. If the Senior Pastor is away or unavailable, he will select an associate minister from the church to conduct the services or a guest pastor. Sometimes family members may want to have a family member or close family friend to deliver the eulogy in the absence of the Senior Pastor. This too will need to be approved by the Senior Pastor of Mount Jezreel Baptist Church whether present or absent.
  • All funerals held at Mount Jezreel Baptist Church or at serving funeral home shall be closed casket during and at the end of the service. However, the deceased may lie in state prior to the service. The family can choose to view the body of the deceased upon entry into the sanctuary for the beginning of the service. All fraternal order services shall be held during the family hour (one hour/30 minutes) before the funeral begins.
  • Since the funeral service is a Christian worship service, all music will be selected by our Lay Pastor of Music and Arts (Bro. David Lindsey). This is to ensure ALL music reflects our faith and beliefs. While we respect the right of a family to suggest music, we also must respect the right of the Lay Pastor of Music and Arts, that all services will be conducted in accordance with fundamental Christian beliefs and practices. The Lay Pastor of Administration will discuss the service with the immediate family and make all the appropriate plans and preparations with the church. (See section entitled Provide bulletins for the service: for information regarding the preparation of the funeral bulletin.)
  • Funerals are held during the week, except Wednesdays, and at the following times, 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. (noon). Because funerals are major events in the life of a family, the church makes every effort to give the funeral service our highest priority during the week. The family should contact the mortuary service provider and try to reach an agreement on a date as soon as possible. We request that families not schedule funeral services on national holidays.
  • The church provides a fellowship meal at the conclusion of the funeral service. Mount Jezreel Baptist Church Culinary Team will prepare the family meals. The church will assume responsibility for the first sixty (60) family members and guests of the family. If there is a larger number of persons who will partake of the family fellowship meal, then the family is asked to assume the cost at the rate that the church is charged by the caterer. We provide this act of service for members only.
  • We recognize that there are persons who attend our weekly worship services who may not formally join, but they contribute regularly to the support of the church and its ministry. The church will consider these persons to be a normal part of our congregational obligation to provide funeral services. The final decision will rest with the Senior Pastor of the church. If the Senior Pastor is incapable of rendering a decision, the chairman of the Diaconate ministry will be contacted for a final decision.
  • The church does not provide nursery services for funeral services.

Funeral Services for Inactive Members:

Mount Jezreel Baptist Church defines an inactive member as someone who has not attended worship in twelve months nor made any financial contributions to the church in the previous six months. We recognize that there can be special circumstances why members are inactive, and these will be considered on a case-by case basis.

Funeral Services for Non-Members:

Mount Jezreel Baptist Church does not make it a normal practice to conduct funeral services for non-members. Non-members are defined as persons who do not attend weekly worship services nor give to support the mission of the church. We do consider all cases of bereavement a normal part of our ministry obligations. The Senior Pastor will make the final decision regarding the service. If the service is approved, the family will be responsible for all the fees associated with the service, to include the use of the Fellowship Hall if they choose to have a fellowship meal following the service.

Video Presentations:

Video presentations are permissible during the service. We request that the video presentation be submitted to the church office forty-eight (48) hours prior to the service.

All video presentations should be in digital format and should not exceed five minutes.

Funeral Fees:

There is no fee charged for funeral services for active members of the congregation.
Non-Member Fees: $300
Use of the Sanctuary: $500
Use of the Fellowship Hall: $750
Psalmist/Musician: $100 per person
Technical Arts Technician:
$100 per person
Janitorial Services:
$75 per person

Upon notice that a church member has passed, the Lay Pastor for Administration will follow the procedure outlined below:

  • Contact the family and after expressing our personal condolences, arrange a time to meet with them for gathering information for the funeral service. This meeting should take place within 24 to 48 hours so that there is ample time for the church and family to prepare properly for the service.
  • Prior to meeting with the family, the clerical assistant will print a copy of the profile and activity record for the deceased member. This will help to provide the date fellowshipped and the ministries in which the member participated.
  • For members who joined prior to implementation of the church’s computer system, the Church Administrator and church clerk will manually search the church membership records to obtain the date the member was fellowshipped.
  • Both the Senior Pastor of Mount Jezreel Baptist Church and the funeral home will consult and agree on the day and time of the funeral.
  • During the Lay Pastor for Administration’s initial contact with the family, they will be advised of the services provided by the church, as members are sometimes not aware of these services. The church will provide a fellowship meal up to sixty (60) persons in the church Fellowship Hall. This meal may follow the service or the burial or sent to the home of the family for family and close friends.
  • Should the family opt to pay the cost for food for more than sixty (60) persons, the Lay Pastor for Church Administration, in conjunction with the food service manager will calculate the fee to be paid. The Fellowship Hall will comfortably seat 125 individuals.
  • The Lay Pastor for Administration will contact the food service manager to advise of the number of persons expected and the date and time of the funeral so the meal can be prepared and the location shared of where the food will be delivered. The fellowship meal will consist of a meat (chicken), a vegetable, a starch, a dessert, and a drink.

Provide bulletins for the service:

  • The family will be asked to estimate the number of bulletins that will be needed.
  • Usually for smaller funerals 75 to 100 bulletins is sufficient. Larger funerals may require 150 to 200. The family assumes responsibility for bulletins if the number exceeds 200. The family may elect to have the bulletin designed by an outside vendor.
  • The Lay Pastor of Administration will aid in planning the service. This is the purpose for the meeting with the family.
  • A Scripture guide, as well as bulletins from past funerals, will be available and provided to the family to assist with selection of Scriptures for the service.
  • The church will attempt to be respectful of the wishes of the family; however, a standard order of service is in place and will need to be followed. The attached guide for planning the bulletin contains the standard order of service.
  • The family may select the Scriptures or may ask that the minister to select. If the minister is to select the Scripture, the Lay Pastor of Administration will contact him/her to obtain the Scriptures to include in the bulletin. Usually there is an Old Testament and a New Testament Scripture.
  • Songs should generally come from the hymnal. If the family wants a solo, they should contact the soloist to determine that the soloist is available and agrees to sing. Our musicians will need to know if the person needs accompaniment. If so, the soloist should provide their own music. The name of the soloist and the name of the song will be needed for the bulletin.
  • The family will need to provide a picture for the front of the bulletin, if so desired. The picture will be returned to the family on the day of the funeral or prior.
  • The family will also need to provide a poem or Scripture if they desire to include one with the family word.
  • If the family wishes to have someone give reflections, they should limit it to one to four persons who will speak a maximum of 2 minutes per person. The family will need to contact the persons giving reflections and provide the Lay Pastor of Administration with the names to include in the bulletin. In no instance are persons
  • permitted to come randomly from the floor to give reflections. Reflections are optional.
  • The Mount Jezreel Baptist Church does not permit viewing following the service (on campus or off-sight). However, the funeral director will bring the remains to the church at least 1 hour before the service for viewing prior to the service.
  • The family will need to designate six (6) or eight (8) men to serve as pallbearers. If the names are known, the family will provide them to the Lay Pastor of Administration for inclusion in the bulletin. If names are not known, they will be listed as Friends of the Family.
  • The church resolution will be prepared and read by the Lay Pastor of Administration or church clerk. Acknowledgments from other churches and cards will be acknowledged only.

Bulletin Worship Service Guide (EXAMPLE):


(Name as family wishes it to appear)

The Rev. Dr. Jamison Hunter, Senior Pastor/Eulogist or
The Rev. Dr. Jamison Hunter, Senior Pastor/Officiant The Rev. Dr. Eldridge Spearman, Eulogist
Mount Jezreel Baptist Church
420 University Blvd. E. Silver Spring, MD 20901

Order of Service

Processional - #
Hymn of Comfort - #


Old Testament
Psalm 23

New Testament
John 14:1-6

Prayer of Consolation
Musical Selection/Solo
Silent Reading of Obituary (optional)

Poem (optional)

Reflections (optional but no more than five speakers) 2 min. please

1.  Name
2. Name
3. Name
4. Name
5. Name

Resolutions & Acknowledgements Musical Selection/Solo

Words of Hope and Encouragement
Dr. Jamison Hunter, Senior Pastor

Recessional - #

Everything Below Is on the Back of the Program

Interment: (Name and location of cemetery)

Active Pallbearers (there should Be 6-8)

1.  Name
2. Name
3. Name
4. Name
5. Name
6. Name
7. Name
8. Name

Flower Bearers

From the Family

Name of Funeral Home
City and State