Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Day of Churches

Charleston, SC – Day 3

We started out to tour the Historic Charleston City Market but found that over ¾ of it was closed and is being completely gutted and renovated. From the smells, it seems that they are mostly unearthing old cesspools! So, after dragging Monte through what is left of The Market, he was really thrilled when I informed him that it was now the “Church Tour Day”.

Circular Congregational Church. 
 Charles Towne's (original name of Charleston) 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.

St. Michaels Episcopal Church – the oldest surviving religious structure in Charleston.
 Begun in 1752. Exposed to the fire of British Artillery on James Island in 1780. Struck 4 times by Federal artillery 1863-65. Injured by hurricane August 1885. Almost destroyed by earthquake August 1886. Reopened June 1887.  Minor changes since that date.

French Huguenot Church.

Established approx. 1681 by Huguenot refugees from the Protestant persecutions in France.   1796 destroyed by fire. Damaged by canon fire during the Civil War.  1886 – almost demolished by earthquake. The only remaining independent Huguenot Church in America.

St. Phillips Episcopal Church

Established 1681. Oldest religious congregation in South Carolina. Damaged by hurricane 1710. 1713 – another hurricane. 1728-40 Fires, hurricane, smallpox, yellow fever, Indian attacks, slave uprisings. Burned to the ground 1835. The Church that was rebuilt and opened in 1838 is the one that still stands today. 1861 – Church bells – 11 of them – contibuted to the Confederate military to be melted down and re-cast as weaponry and ammunition. 1927 and 1939 tornado damage. 1989 – Hurricane Hugo caused extensive damage.

All of these churches survived many hardships and are still going strong today.  I think that says something wonderful about the United States of America.

And thus ended our tour of Charleston churches. There were many more but I think we hit the highlights.


dparham said...

glad to see you went to church!!!!!

~Cheryl said...

What a neat selection of churches. I'd love to go inside the circular one. Really beautiful photos (I enjoy church hopping with my camera!)