Funerals & Memorials

With Deep Sympathy…We are sorry for your pain and loss.

During times of loss, I am here to offer support and guidance. When a loved one is nearing the end of life or dies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any hour (Yes, even in the middle of the night). I’m your pastor (spiritual shepherd). I’m here to help you navigate the emotional and practical aspects of grieving while planning a funeral or memorial service with a focus on hope and the resurrection.

You do not have to go through this alone. Let’s come together to celebrate your loved one’s life in a way that feels meaningful and respectful. Reach out to me, and we can begin this journey together with prayer, reflection, and remembrance.

There are a lot of options for honoring your loved one, from open or closed casket funerals, memorial services with or without cremains, graveside services, fraternal and military rites, etc. Your faith community is here for you and your family during this difficult time. We encourage you to use a licensed Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts (see Funeral Director (see We work with numerous funeral homes and cremation societies in Kansas and the USA.

Please contact me! I am here to offer words of solace, spiritual guidance, and a helping hand to ensure that your loved one’s final farewell is a beautiful and meaningful tribute to God for the gift of their life.

With love, compassion, and unwavering faith,
The Reverend Ivan E. Greuter M.A., M.Div., D.Min.
Senior Minister

A Service Celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

Christian funerals are religious worship services centered on two foundational truths:

  1. The worship of our Creator God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Divine Trinity), and
  2. Our Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ’s Resurrection (Romans 8:11)

We will make every effort to help the family personalize the service and express their emotions in a healthy way for their special person. However, services at West Side Baptist Church focus on God, Jesus Christ, Holy Scripture, the Resurrection, and God’s redeeming work in the lives of his previous saints (Psalm 116). Speak with our Ordained Clergy if you have any questions.


Funerals (open or closed casket) and Memorial (with or without cremains/urn) services may reflect the personal life of the deceased and share words of praise for their life in Christ. However, the focus of the service is on God and God’s love in Jesus Christ, and our hope of spending eternity with God in heaven.

Services at our church will follow the traditional Protestant Service of the Resurrection as outlined below:

  • Welcome & Words of Scripture
  • Opening Prayer
  • Song or Favorite Hymn
  • Old Testament Scripture (For example: Isaiah 25:6-9; Isaiah 61:1-3; Lamentations 3:22-33; Job 19:21-27a; Ecclesiastes 3)
  • New Testament Scripture (For example: Romans 8:14-39; 1 Corinthians 15:20-58; 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:9; 1 John 3:1-2; Revelation 7:9-17; Revelation 21:2-7)
  • Eulogy (Life Story and Words of Final Praise)
  • Shared Memories from Family and Friends
  • Solos, Ensemble or Special Music
  • Poems, Readings, Quotation (see Pastor)
  • Song or Favorite Hymn
  • Gospel Scripture & Homily or Short Message
  • Prayers for the Church, Nation, Grieving, and World & The Lord’s Prayer
  • Song or Favorite Hymn
  • Closing Prayer
  • Benediction


A graveside service is a shorter memorial service when an officiant reads prayers and scripture beside the graveside or the mausoleum where the casket is interred or cremated remains are inurned.

There may be a eulogy given but the service is overall more minimal than a funeral or memorial service with no singing or special music. Elements of a traditional Protestant Graveside Service include:

  • Welcome & Words of Scripture
  • Opening Prayer
  • Reading of Psalm 23 (The Lord is My Shepherd)
  • Committal Rite
  • Closing Prayer
  • Benediction
  • Military Rites (optional)

LICENSED MORTUARY & FUNERAL DIRECTORS: We encourage you to use a licensed Funeral Director (see with the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts (see .

MILITARY HONORS: Military Honors consist of two or more uniformed service members folding and presenting a U.S. burial flag to the family, and playing of Taps. A gun salute by a rifle squad is reserved for veterans who retired from military service, service members killed on active duty, and Medal of Honor recipients. See a State of Kansas licensed Funeral Director for more information.

PASTORAL CARE: our Ordained Clergy will meet with the bereaved family in person to by offering pastoral care and prepare the service. Call the Church Office to schedule an appointment at (785) 233-4241. Families may download and complete the follow form to help with service arrangements:

GRIEF COUNSELING: Our Ordained Clergy are NOT Licensed Professional Counselor (LPCs) or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) in the State of Kansas (see the State of Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board), and therefore, they do not provide “counseling” services. Pastors will provide Pastoral Care as available and needed.

HONORARIUMS – Our professionally trained Ordained Clergy do not require or charge a fee to perform religious services at West Side Baptist Church. They perform their duties gratis (“free of charge”). It is customary for the family to provide a small sum of money (“honorarium”) to the Ordained Clergy for services which fees are not traditionally required. A typical funeral honorarium is $150.00. Please make checks payable to “West Side Baptist Church” with “honorarium” in the memo line.


The Church is grateful to receive flowers and memorial gifts in honor or memory of a loved one. Family and friends can donate ONLINE, through the Funeral Home, directly to the family, in service, or mail your gift to:

West Side Baptist Church
1008 SW 4th St.
Topeka, Kansas 66606

The Church is a registered 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit Religious Charitable Corporation. Donations may be tax-deductible as permitted by law.

See the Church Office for a copy of our Memorial Policies.

Life, Death and Resurrection in the Christian Faith

WE BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION: The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of our Christian faith and the sole basis of our hope for life beyond death. Jesus’ resurrection was unique, because He was unique, entrusted with a purpose and mission like no other person or God. Jesus said our new life with clearly be different from our present lives and bodies. We trust the truth that Jesus taught us and lived in his life, death, and resurrection!

The Bible teaches that the “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died (1 Corinthians 15:20). By the Resurrection, God revealed that Jesus was truly the Christ and that death did not, would not, have control over him or God’s future: not for Jesus and not for us, either. Paul predicted that “as all die in Adam, (our first father), so all will be made alive in Christ” (v. 22). This is why all funeral services, memorials and graveside rites will focus on Jesus Christ’s Resurrection and the promise of New Life given to all people who trust God with an undying love.

Our faith in the resurrection does not totally remove the sting of death from this mortal life. A deep-seated fear of death is built into our very nature, and the death of a loved one is bound to bring bruising sorrow, questions of faith, worries and anxieties. The Bible is full of grief stories – from Abraham morning Sarah to Martha and Mary in a state of shock over the death of their brother, Lazarus. What we know from the Bible is true: regardless of death’s powers and pain, Jesus Christ has the final word: ETERNAL LIFE!

Grief will certainly be felt in a time of loss, but we need not – we dare not – “grieve as others do who have no hope” wrote the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonian Christians (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Although the details remain to be seen – life beyond death with the Communion of Saints in the Kingdom of God – we trust in God who promised us HOPE in this life and in the LIFE to COME!

Our new life will clearly be different from our present bodies. Paul’s image of the wheat seed in 1 Corinthians 15:35-38 affirms that we shall continue to be authentically ourselves, lodged in new bodies as suitable for our new life as our present bodies for this life. The image of the seed also suggests that our new life will be communal: the “resurrection of the body” and the “life everlasting” unfold in the “communion of the saints.” The book of Revelation offers richer, more colorful images of the last things:

  • The Judgment Seat
  • A Banquet Hall
  • The Pearly Gates
  • The Throne Room of God around the Crystal Sea
  • the City of God with Christ as its Light

Paul tells us as much as we are able to grasp: After death, there is a new life in store for all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, in fellowship with our Lord and with our loved ones; and it will be a glorious life.

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him!”

The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9

Therefore, all funeral services, memorials and graveside rites – although personalized and memorialized with reflections of our loved ones – will focus on Jesus Christ’s Resurrection and the promise of New Life given to all people who trust God with an undying love.

— Adapted from Communication Resources Inc., Sourcebook of Funerals, Vol. 2, (c) 2001. All rights reserved.