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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Old Bethel Methodist Church

 
 
Old Bethel Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 10, 2011
1. Old Bethel Methodist Church Marker
Inscription. (Front text)
This church, built in 1797 in the meeting-house form, was dedicated in 1798 and completed in 1809. It is the oldest Methodist church standing in Charleston. Originally at the corner of Pitt and Calhoun Streets, Bethel Methodist Church was a congregation of white and black members, both free blacks and slaves. Many blacks left the church in 1833 during a dispute over seating. Though some later returned, many did not.
(Reverse text)
In 1852 the congregation moved this building west to face Calhoun Street, to make room for a new brick church, completed the next year. This church, called “Old Bethel,” was used for Sunday school before its black members acquired it in 1876. They kept the name Old Bethel and moved the church to this location in 1882. Old Bethel Methodist Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
 
Erected 2011 by The Congregation. (Marker Number 10-72.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Francis Asbury, Traveling Methodist Preacher marker series.
 
Location. 32° 47.057′ N, 79° 56.517′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is
Old Bethel Methodist Church Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 10, 2011
2. Old Bethel Methodist Church Marker, reverse side
on Calhoun Street near Pitt Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 222 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 29403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Bethel United Methodist Church (here, next to this marker); Bethel Methodist Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Benjamin Lucas House (approx. 0.2 miles away); 66 Bull Street The John Cart House (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Blacklock House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cameron House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kornahrens-Guenveur House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nine College Way (approx. ╝ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Charleston.
 
Regarding Old Bethel Methodist Church. National Register of Historic Places:
Old Bethel United Methodist Church *** (added 1975 - - #75001693)
Also known as Bethel Methodist Church 222 Calhoun St., Charleston
♦ Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event
♦ Area of Significance: Black, Architecture, Religion
♦ Period of Significance: 1800-1824, 1750-1799
♦ Historic Function: Religion


Begun in 1797 and completed in 1809, Old Bethel Methodist Church is the oldest Methodist church building still standing in Charleston. Construction of
Old Bethel Methodist Church and Marker, at far left image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 10, 2011
3. Old Bethel Methodist Church and Marker, at far left
the original meeting house style church was planned by Francis Asbury, the first Bishop of American Methodism, in the 18th century. The founding of Old Bethel Church by both black and white members was indicative of the Methodist Church philosophy of encouraging black membership in the church. Originally located at the corner of Pitt and Calhoun Streets, the church served a congregation of blacks and whites until the 1840s when the blacks seceded. In 1852 the church was moved to the western part of the church grounds where it was used by the blacks. A new brick church, Bethel Methodist, constructed on the original site, served an all-white congregation. Old Bethel was again moved in 1880 when the building was given to the black congregation and was rolled across Calhoun Street to its present site. Originally a gabled meetinghouse style church, the white clapboard building has been altered by the addition to the fašade of a gabled portico supported by four fluted Corinthian columns. A central double door is flanked by single doors on either side, and these entrances are surmounted by segmented transoms. Within the front gable is a semi-circular louver. Brick foundations of American bond date from 1880. Listed in the National Register April 21, 1975.
(South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.
 
Old Bethel Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, August 14, 2011
4. Old Bethel Methodist Church
Original Bethel M.E. Church
Erected 1797
Moved To Present Location
1880
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 432 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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