Mother of God Cemetery was founded in 1887 when Saint Joseph Cemetery, also known as Buena Vista Cemetery or Old Mother of God, on West 26th Street in Covington Kentucky became too small to accommodate the growing German Roman Catholic population. Father William Tappert, pastor of Mother of God Church, wrote to the Right Reverend Camillus Maes, the third bishop of the Diocese of Covington, asking permission for "the members of Mother of God, Saint Joseph's, Saint Aloysius's, Saint Augustine's and Saint Benedict's congregations" to purchase land for a new cemetery. Father Tappert recommended 43 acres of land situated between Independence Pike and Latonia Race Course Avenue in South Covington. The property, owned by Dr. Obersorff, included a brick house and could be purchased for $16,000.
Bishop Maes granted permission for the purchase of the Obersorff farm on November 11, 1887. He also asked Father Tappert to "call a meeting of Reverend Rectors (pastors) of the five congregations and afterwards of representative laymen for the proposed mode of administration, their conclusions to be submitted to us for approval". The property was purchased and the cemetery incorporated on January 25, 1888 by approval of the Kentucky State Senate and House of Representatives.
Holy Cross Catholic Church in Latonia, founded in 1890, eventually joined the governing body for the cemetery. The cemetery property has grown to fifty-five and a half acres as of 2015.
Noted Covington artist Frank Duveneck is buried at Mother of God, his memorial by celebrated Cincinnati artist and sculptor Clement Barnhorn. The pink granite crypt stands above ground, flanked at each of its four corners by a bronze angel with outstretched wings.
The sculpture of the crucifixion scene that stands at the center of the cemetery near the Duveneck Memorial was also created by Clement Barnhorn. The front of the granite base is inscribed "Ich Bin Die Auferstenhung / und das Leben ++ Jon-11-25" (I am the resurrection / and the life).