Kershaw Churches

Unity Baptist Church, Kershaw, South Carolina (Kershaw County)
Unity Baptist Church, Kershaw, South Carolina

Kershaw, South Carolina was one of the wealthiest towns in the state in the mid 1800’s.  It was originally a gathering place for the farmers in the area but was largely destroyed towards the end of the Civil War. Another rebuilding phase occurred in the early 1900’s and included a pair of churches shown here.  I passed through last Sunday afternoon and was invited inside both churches so I was able to get a shot of the interiors.

Unity Baptist Church was organized in 1909 and is on East Sumter Street.  The Gothic Revival church building was completed a year later and was the second black church in town.  The interior of the church has many original features including the coved ceiling.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Unity Baptist Church, Kershaw, South Carolina (Kershaw County)

Interior, Unity Baptist Church

Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kershaw South Carolina

Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kershaw South Carolina

The oldest African-American congregation in town is Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion.  The church was named for a former slave who was an A.M.E. minister.  The church below was built in 1909. Included as part of the Lancaster County entry, it’s also on the National Register.

Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kershaw South Carolina (Kersh
Interior, Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church
Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kershaw South Carolina (Kersh
Clinton Chapel A.M.E., date unrecorded

 

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Jerusalem Methodist

Jerusalem United Methodist Church, South Carolina (Orangeburg County)
Jerusalem United Methodist Church, South Carolina (Orangeburg County)

Located just outside of Elloree, South Carolina, Jerusalem United Methodist Church  was built in 1909.  From the church’s website, it replaced the “Old Jerusalem” church that burned a year earlier.  The church has history dating back to 1813, but grew more organized after the Civil War ended.   The church was remodeled in 1958 and later additional improvements were made, including a fellowship hall and a large parking lot and walkways.  There is also a large cemetery on the property which was founded in 1879.

St. Thomas Episcopal

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Richland County, South Carolina
St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Richland County, South Carolina

St. Thomas Episcopal Church was founded as a mission church for former slaves following the Civil War.  The church is in a wooded area not far from the small town of Eastover, South Carolina.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the history of the church explains that black membership in the Episcopal church fell significantly after the Civil War.  A wealthy local planter was appointed to try and maintain that membership in the area and so built a chapel (Saul Chapel) on his plantation.  Soon after, a Sunday School was started for the local black children.  The chapel burned down in 1891 and was rebuilt as St. Thomas in 1893.  The church is still in use today and there is a cemetery on the grounds with what looked like mostly recent graves.

Good Hope Baptist

Good Hope Baptist Church, Richmond County, South Carolina
Good Hope Baptist Church, Richland County, South Carolina

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Good Hope Baptist Church is about twenty miles east of Columbia, South Carolina on Highway 76.  It’s a temple form building considered Greek Revival and was built shortly before the Civil War (circa 1857).  The antebellum church still has the original slave gallery but was locked so I didn’t get any interior photos.  The addition on the north (rear) of the building was completed in the 1950’s.   There’s also a member cemetery to the west of the church.

Cheraw Churches

Old St. David's Church, Cheraw, South Carolina
Old St. David’s Church, Cheraw, South Carolina

Cheraw, South Carolina is a town in Chesterfield County named after an Indian tribe of Pee Dee Indians that had dominated the area until the early 1700s.  The first significant European settlement was in 1736 when Welsh Baptists were given a large land grant by the British government.  The earliest settlers were from England, Ireland, Scotland and France.  The town of Cheraw formed and incorporated in 1820.  A fire destroyed most of the business district in 1835, but it was rebuilt and the town prospered until the Civil War.  The town was occupied by more of Sherman’s troops than any other in South Carolina, but surprisingly it was largely left intact.  Although small, the town has maintained a good portion of the historic feel and there were several older churches in the area.

Old St. David’s was an Episcopal church authorized in 1768 and the graveyard includes some of the British occupying troops from the Revolutionary War.  The church building is circa 1870 and the steeple and vestibule were added in 1827.  Services were held here until 1916.

Pee Dee Union Baptist Church below is a brick church that replaced a building destroyed by a tornado in 1912.  The congregation organized in 1867 as an African-American church after the slaves were freed and dismissed from the Cheraw First Baptist Church.

Pee Dee Union Baptist Church, Cheraw, South Carolina
Pee Dee Union Baptist Church, Cheraw, South Carolina

St. Peter’s Catholic Church is circa 1840 and was the first church on Charleston’s Catholic mission.  It was damaged during the Civil War, but a priest restored the church in 1909.  The stained glass and new pews were added at that time.

St. Peter's Catholic Church, Cheraw, South Carolina
St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Cheraw, South Carolina

St. Peter's Catholic Church, Cheraw, South Carolina

White Oak ARP

White Oak A.R.P Church, South Carolina
White Oak A.R.P Church, South Carolina

White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is in White Oak, South Carolina.  The Scots-Irish settlers in this area of South Carolina eventually found their way to the White Oak village (Fairfield County) before the Civil War.  White Oak ARP was organized and later built this church in 1877.  It was having some maintenance done the afternoon I stopped by as it’s still in use today.

Bamberg Churches

Bamberg First Baptist Church, Bamberg, South Carolina
Bamberg First Baptist Church, Bamberg, South Carolina

I stopped briefly in the town of Bamberg, South Carolina and snapped a few photos of a pair of older brick churches in the center of town.  Bamberg First Baptist Church was organized in 1872 and is in its third building, built in 1928.  The architectural style is considered Georgian Revival.

Its neighbor is Trinity United Methodist, which first built a church around the same time the town of Bamberg was founded in 1855.  This is also their third church building, completed in 1905 in a Gothic Revival style.

Trinity United Methodist Church, Bamberg, South Carolina

Trinity United Methodist Church, Bamberg, South Carolina