“Diocese of Charleston Bicentennial”

“On July 20, 2020, the Diocese of Charleston will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its historic founding. Pope Pius VII canonically established the diocese on July 11, 1820. Thanks to the foresight of our first bishop, Most. Rev. John England, and his successors, a once scattered flock of only a handful of souls is now a community of believers over 200,000 strong…

…We look forward to celebrating the presence of the Catholic Church in South Carolina through deanery and parish events. We will give thanks to God for all that we have been given through our faith, prayer, and values. Bookmark this page for the Calendar of Events happening around the state.”

Visit the Diocese Website!

Diocese of Charleston Bicentennial

St. Philips Episcopal Church – a Landmark

Listed in National Register of Historic Places.

St. Philips Episcopal Church - a Landmark

Picture Source – http://1.usa.gov/nELP61

146 Church Street,
SC – 29401

St. Philips ‘houses the oldest congregation in South Carolina and was the first Anglican church established south of Virginia.

This church is the third building to house the congregation, which was formed by Charles Town colonists.

The first church, built in 1681, was a small wooden building located at the present site of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.

In the early 18th century, the congregation built a second brick church at the site of the current church.

It’s construction was partially funded by duties on rum and slaves.

After suffering from one fire that was extinguished by a black slave, who was given his freedom for this act, the church completely burned in 1835.

The current St. Philip’s was constructed from 1835 to 1838 by architect Joseph Hyde, while the steeple, designed by E.B. White, was added a decade later.’

Source – National Park Service 

For more information on the church extending into the street and prominent people buried in the graveyard visit the National Park Service Website above.

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St. Marys Roman Catholic Church – a Landmark

Listed in National Register of Historic Places.

St. Marys Roman Catholic Church - a Landmark

Source – National Park Service

The First Catholic Church in the Carolinas and Georgia
Established August 24, 1789

Located at 89 Hasell Street, Charleston, S.C.
Adjacent to Charleston Place Hotel
Telephone Number 843-722-7696
Fax Line 843-577-5036


Sunday Mass
9:30 am

Daily Mass
Monday – Friday 7:00am

Tuesdays 5:30 am

‘The congregation of St. Mary’s was the first Roman Catholic Church in the Carolinas and Georgia.

A sufficient number of Catholic immigrants had arrived in Charleston by the late 18th century, that Reverend Ryan, an Irish priest, was sent to the city in 1788.

The Hasell Street site was purchased for the church by trustees one year later, and the congregation has worshiped here ever since.

The congregation first worshiped in a dilapidated Methodist meeting house that was at the site.

In 1801 the congregation constructed their own brick church. The Charleston fire of 1838 that burned much of the surrounding Ansonborough neighborhood also destroyed most of the Catholic church.

The present building was completed in 1839 in the Classical Revival style.

Its monumental form, elements and ornamental details are adapted from classic Roman architecture with typical Classical details such as its arched openings and Tuscan portico with a parapet.’

Source – National Park Service

To learn more about tombstones in the churchyard, the pews, paintings, etc. visit the National Park Service Website orWikipedia.

‘It is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:30am to 3:30pm. Call 843-722-7696 for further information.’

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Circular Congregation Church – Charleston, S.C.

Circular Congregation Church - Charleston, S.C.

Picture source – http://www.circularchurch.org

150 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC
‘…one of the oldest continuously worshipping congregations in the South. Among highlights of our history are:- Charles Towne’s original settlers founded this protestant, or dissenting, church about 1681.-The graveyard is the city’s oldest burial grounds with monuments dating from 1695.- The first meeting house on this site gave Meeting Street its name.- The third structure here, a vast, circular hall built in 1804, burned in 1861.- Bricks from “Old Circular” were used in building the present sanctuary, completed in 1892.- Historically Independent: the congregation is now related to the United Church of Christ and thePresbyterian Church (U.S.A.).- Circular Church remains a vibrant, diverse community. Visitors are welcome both to explore the grounds and to explore the faith in worship, ministry, and life in community.’Source – http://bit.ly/skpsh8

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St. Michaels Church – Charleston S.C.

St. Michaels Church - Charleston S.C.

Picture Source – Wikipedia

71 Broad Street,
SC – 29401
‘St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is an historic Episcopal church and the oldest surviving religious structure in CharlestonSouth Carolina.
It is located at Broad and Meeting streets on one of the Four Corners of the Law, and represents ecclesiastical law.
It was built in the 1750s by order of the South Carolina Assembly.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is aNational Historic Landmark.
It is still an active church in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.
‘Source – Wikipedia
Virtual Tour – may not work on mobile phones

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First Scots Presbyterian Church, Charleston, S.C.


First Scots Presbyterian Church

Source – National Park Service

53 Meeting Street
SC – 29401
‘First Scots Presbyterian Church, the fifth oldest church in Charleston, was constructed in 1814. Its design was perhaps inspired by St. Mary’s Cathedral in Baltimore, Maryland designed by Benjamin Latrobe. Latrobe was the first professionally trained American architect, best known for designing the United States Capitol. The massive brick Presbyterian Church has walls that are three feet thick and covered with stucco. Twin towers rise above a columned portico. Reflecting the heritage of the congregation, the seal of the Church of Scotland is displayed in the stained glass window over the main entrance, and the decorative wrought iron grilles contain thistles, the symbol of Scotland. First Scots replaced the congregation’s first church, a frame building previously located in the southeast corner of the graveyard. The graveyard contains more than 50 stones that date earlier than 1800.’

Source – National Park Service

To learn more about the history of the building, the meetings of the church body and natural disaster tragedies visit the National Park Service Website.

‘The church is open to the public 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday- Friday.

Call 843-722-8882 for further information.’

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Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church

Source – National Park Service

Open to the public Mon.-Fri. 9:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

110 Calhoun Street
SC – 29401

‘The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is a Gothic Revival style church built in 1891.

Retaining its original alter, communion rail, pews, and light fixtures the church is one of only a few unaltered religious interiors in Charleston, especially from the Victorian period.

The brick Gothic church with its tall steeple replaced an earlier 1872 church badly damaged by the 1886 earthquake.

Today Emanuel is the oldest AME church in the South, and houses the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore, Maryland.

The history of this congregation reflects the development of religious institutions for African Americans in Charleston.

Its roots stem from a religious group of free blacks and slaves organized in 1791.

In 1816, black members of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal church withdrew over disputed burial ground, and under the leadership of Morris Brown, formed a separate congregation. The church’s 1400 members soon thereafter established themselves an African Methodist Episcopal church, a denomination formally established in 1816 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Two years later, Brown and other ministers of the church were jailed for violating state and local laws which prohibited religious gatherings of slaves and free blacks independent of white supervision.’

Source – National Park Service

To learn more about a planned slave revolt and the burning of the church during the crisis and more see the National Park Service Website.

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Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue – a Landmark

Listed in National Register of Historic Places.

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue

Picture Source – National Park Service

90 Hasell Street,
SC – 29401

‘Founded in 1749 as a Sephardic Orthodox congregation, in 1841, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim-also known as KKBE-was firmly committed to the path of religious Reform Judaism.

Our sanctuary is the second oldest synagogue building in the United States and the oldest in continuous use.

We invite you to experience for yourself KKBEs rich past and vibrant present.’


– Monday through Thursday from 10-noon and 1:30-3:30

– Fridays from 10-noon

– Sundays from 1:00-4:00

‘Our enthusiastic and knowledgable volunteer docents lead tours of the historic Sanctuary at KKBE and share our unique history.

Please allow at least 30 minutes for the tour plus time to visit our Museum and Chosen Treasures, our Sisterhood Judaica & Gift shop.’

‘Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark, is the country’s second oldest synagogue and the oldest in continuous use.
The American Reform Judaism movement originated at this site in 1824.
The congregation of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim-meaning Holy Congregation House of God-was established in colonial Charleston in 1749, and is now the nation’s fourth oldest Jewish community.
The building reflects the history of Jewish worship in Charleston, as well as the high degree of religious tolerance within the Carolina colony.’

‘The Beth Elohim congregation began as an Orthodox community, founded primarily by Sephardic immigrants (of Spanish and Portuguese ancestry).

By the end of the 18th century the Beth Elohim congregation had become the largest Jewish community in the nation, with a membership of 500.

This synagogue was built in 1840, on the site of the congregations first synagogue destroyed in the Charleston fire of 1838.

The building is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style, as its form, portico and rich ornamentation are adapted from classic Greek temples.

Designed by New York architect Cyrus L. Warner, the temple was built by congregation member, David Lopez.’


– National Park Service

– http://www.kkbe.org/

For more infromation on the Synagogue visit the National Park Service Website or Wikipedia.

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