Charleston SC Historic Churches


Charleston SC Historic Churches

The majestic steeples and spires of Charleston SC Historic Churches are visible throughout the city and the reason Charleston is often called the "Holy City". Regardless of religious affiliation or denomination, these beautiful buildings inspire millions of visitors every year. When visiting Charleston, here are some of the Historic Churches that are worth seeing:

Old Bethel United Methodist Church
222 Calhoun St
Charleston SC 29401

Old Bethel United Methodist Church

Old Bethel United Methodist Church, built in 1797, was one of three Black Methodist Churches that originated before the Civil War. The church, originally at the corner of Pitt and Calhoun, was later moved after it was given to black members of a nearby congregation. 


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Bethel United Methodist Church
57 Pitt St
Charleston SC 29401

Bethel United Methodist Church

Construction on the current Bethel United Methodist Church began in 1852. The original wood church on the lot was relocated and later given to a black congregation. Bethel Church was the only Methodist church in Charleston to remain open throughout the Civil War.


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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
120 Broad St
Charleston SC 29401

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Charleston

Construction on the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist started in 1890 and was completed in 2010 with the addition of the steeple and bells. The church, which opened its doors in 1907, is built on the foundation of the original 1854 cathedral that was destroyed by fire. 


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Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul
126 Coming St. 
Charleston SC 29403

Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul Charleston

Construction began on the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in 1810 and was completed in 1815. The building was in continuous use during the Civil War, serving as a shelter for neighboring church congregations whose towns were under attack from Union forces. 


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Central Baptist Church
26 Radcliffe St. 
Charleston SC 29403

Central Baptist Church Charleston

Central Baptist Church, built in 1891, is considered to be one of the first churches founded, designed, and built solely by African Americans in Charleston.


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Circular Congregational Church
150 Meetings St. 
Charleston SC 29401

Circular Congregational Church Charleston

The Circular Congregational Church was established in 1681 by English Congregationalists, Scotch and Irish Presbyterians, and French Huguenots of the original Charles Towne settlement. The current church was completed in 1892. 


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Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
110 Calhoun St. 
Charleston SC 29401

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Charleston

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, often referred to as Mother Emanuel, is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South. The current church, built in 1891, replaced an earlier church that was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1886. 


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First Baptist Church 
61 Church St. 
Charleston SC 29401

First Baptist Church Charleston

First Baptist Church, one of the oldest Baptist congregations in the south, was founded in 1682 in Kittery, Maine. Fourteen years later under the leadership of Pastor William Screven, the church moved to Charleston. The current Greek Revival Sanctuary was built in 1822.


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First Scots Presbyterian Church 
53 Meeting St. 
Charleston SC 29401

First Scots Presbyterian Church Charleston

The First Scots Presbyterian Church was established in 1731 when about a dozen residents left the Circular Congregational Church to establish their own church. The current church building, constructed in 1814, is the fifth oldest church building in Charleston. 


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French Huguenot Church
136 Church St. 
Charleston SC 29401

French Huguenot Church Charleston

The French Protestant Church of Charleston was founded in 1681 by Huguenot refugees fleeing persecution in France. The current church, dedicated in 1845, is the third on the site. This is the only remaining independent Huguenot Church in America.


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Grace Church Cathedral
98 Wentworth St. 
Charleston SC 29401

Grace Church Cathedral Charleston

Grace Church Cathedral, the diocesan cathedral of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, was consecrated in 1848. The church was damaged during the Civil War and again during the earthquake of 1886. The damage is still visible today.


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Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
90 Hasell St. 
Charleston SC 29401

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Charleston

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, built in 1840, is the country's second oldest synagogue. The building is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style. A small museum contains artifacts such as a letter written to the congregation by George Washington.


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St. John's Lutheran Church
5 Clifford St. 
Charleston SC 29401

St. John's Lutheran Church Charleston

St. John's Lutheran Church, established in 1742, is Charleston's oldest Lutheran congregation. The rectangular, stuccoed brick building combines Federal and Baroque elements.


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Saint Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church 
95 Hasell St. 
Charleston SC 29401

Saint Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church Charleston

Saint Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, built in 1839, was the first Catholic Church in the Carolinas and Georgia. The Classical Revival style building has elements and ornamental details adapted from classic Roman architecture. 


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St. Matthews Lutheran Church
405 King St. 
Charleston SC 29403

St. Matthews Lutheran Church Charleston

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church was completed in 1872 by a group of Germans who wished to worship in their native language. Its 297-foot steeple once made it the tallest building in South Carolina and it continues to possess the tallest spire.


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St. Michael's Episcopal Church
71 Broad St. 
Charleston SC 29401

St. Michael's Episcopal Church Charleston

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, completed in 1761, is the oldest church building in Charleston. Several historic figures have worshiped in the church including George Washington and Robert E. Lee. 


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St. Philip's Church
142 Church St 
Charleston SC 29401

St. Philip's Church Charleston

St. Philip's Episcopal Church, constructed from 1835 to 1838, is one of Charleston’s most photographed churches. The church’s graveyard is home to many prominent people, including colonial governors, authors, and a former Vice President of the United States. 


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Unitarian Church
4 Archdale St 
Charleston SC 29401

Unitarian Church Charleston

The Unitarian Church in Charleston, completed in 1787, is the oldest Unitarian Church in the South. The building was renovated in 1852 adding a rear chancel and a four-story tower. 


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