I made it to Taw Caw Missionary Baptist Church just before a spectacular sunset one evening. This South Carolina church was bought by former slaves after the opportunity to freely worship was available with emancipation. The building was formerly owned by a Baptist congregation who sold the land and the church in 1885 when they moved to a different location in Summerton, South Carolina. The building dates to 1859, though there has been some remodeling over the years, both to the interior and exterior. There’s also an adjacent cemetery on the southwestern side of the church.
If you drive through the small town of Tillman, South Carolina, you can’t miss this little Methodist church and cemetery on the west side of the road. I stopped to take a few photos, but didn’t see anything that indicated when it was built.
St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church is located in Aiken, South Carolina. The original building from 1842 still stands, though it was remodeled extensively in 1926. It’s included on the National Register of Historic Places.
This small Baptist church is located just outside of Aiken, South Carolina. A small number of members withdrew from the nearby Springfield Baptist Church when they were chartered by the Negro Baptist Association to build Randall Branch Baptist. A small hut was used for worshiping until this simple frame church was built in 1901.
Not far from St. James. A.M.E. in Walterboro, South Carolina is the Victorian church originally known as “The Atonement Mission”. It was built in 1896 by St. Jude’s Episcopal Church as a mission to help establish an African American congregation. It’s included on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Walterboro Historic District.
Robertville Baptist Church is another Greek Revival church located in South Carolina. It was built in 1847 by an Episcopalian congregation and later purchased and moved to the current spot just after the Civil War. The church history dates to 1781 when the Welsh and Huguenots settled in the area and it was known then as Black Swamp Baptist Church. The name was later changed in 1934 in honor of an earlier Huguenot minister named Pierre Robert. It’s included on the National Register of Historic Places.
When I see a South Carolina church dating to the Civil War era still standing, I’m always surprised. But this Methodist church in Hardeeville, South Carolina was one of the lucky ones spared destruction. Built in 1860, it was used during the war as a temporary hospital. The church also originally had an upper level slave gallery that was removed in the 1880s.