Old Bethel United Methodist Church

Old Bethel United Methodist Church (HMXY3)

Location: Charleston, SC 29401 Charleston County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 47.057', W 79° 56.517'

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Old Bethel United Methodist Church, the third oldest church building surviving in Charleston, had its beginnings on February 14, 1797 as Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church. Bethel was constructed in the gabled meeting house style with white clapboards after a design by Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop in the United States and was dedicated in 1798. The church was built forty feet by sixty feet and was named Bethel, the Hebrew word for the "house of God." It stood at the corner of Pitt and Calhoun Streets. The building was dedicated in 1798 and was completed in 1809. Later a pulpit was erected and a sounding board acquired from Scots Presbyterian Church was hung over the pulpit. The simple wooden building included galleries for the slaves, pews at the back of the first floor for seating free black members and white members sat in the front on the first floor. In 1851 the church became the primary place of worship for black members. On August 27, 1876 the building was officially given to the black members and became Old Bethel. Land was purchased across the street on Calhoun Street and the building was moved in 1882 to its present site. The original addition of a gabled portico supported by four fluted Corinthian Columns documents changing styles in ecclesiastical architecture. The pressed metal ceiling and Victorian era furnishing date to the end of the 19th century. The church currently serves a black congregation, which includes descendants of the 1880 congregation.

Erected by:
MoJA Arts Festival
City of Charleston
October 3, 2007
HM NumberHMXY3
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 3:23am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 599080 N 3627868
Decimal Degrees32.78428333, -79.94195000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 47.057', W 79° 56.517'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 47' 3.42" N, 79° 56' 31.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)843
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 222 Calhoun St, Charleston SC 29401, US
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