The Charleston Insider's Guide
August 16, 2017, 9:21 am

Charleston's Historic Churches

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Charleston Insider's Guide > Attractions & Tours > Charleston Churches

The city of Charleston was established in the late 1600's and since then has endured wars, epidemics, hurricanes, an earthquake, and more than one collapse of the economy. One uniting force within this southern city has been its religious organizations. Charleston's skyline as viewed from the harbor is distinguished by its many church steeples, poking through the traditional geometry of historic buildings. The southern dominating religion, dating back to the colonial days was Catholicism, having been inherited from England. The rising number of Protestants could be attributed largely to the migration of European refugees, fleeing from Protestant persecution. Judaism has been practiced in Charleston as early as 1749 and the Jewish society in Charleston has only expanded since then. Free and slave blacks that were once forced to convene in secret have since established several religious congregations. Considering Charleston's rich history, exploring the hundreds of local churches will give visitors a sense of religious contributions to the local culture. As a general rule, if the doors to a church are unlocked and open, guests are welcome to venture inside.

Here's a couple articles on some of our favorites, and a more complete list of the churches in the historical district to follow:

Emanuel AME Church

French Huguenot Church

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim

St. Michael's Episcopal Church

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (1890-1907)
Broad & Legare Streets
Charleston, SC

Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul (1815)
126 Coming Street
Charleston, SC

Circular Congregational Church (1891-1892)
150 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC

First Baptist Church (1822)
61 Church Street
Charleston, SC

First (Scots) Presbyterian Church (1814)
53 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC

Grace Episcopal Church (1848)
98 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC

St. John's Lutheran Church (1817)
10 Archdale Street
Charleston, SC

St. Mary's Catholic Church (1837-1899)
89 Hasell Street
Charleston, SC

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church (1872)
405 King Street
Charleston, SC

Unitarian Church in Charleston (1780-1854)
8 Archdale Street
Charleston, SC

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