CHRIST CHURCH, c. 1726

Christ Church is a featured stop on Charleston Raconteurs' French Santee tour. Book your tour today!

Christ Church was the first of the Charles Towne colony's 10 parishes to be organized under the Church Act of 1706. Parishes represented more than just a religious confederation, as a parish's vestry also made up the local government councils.

The first wooden church building, erected here in 1706, burned in a 1725 forest fire. The brick and stucco building you see today was built the following year. Just north of the church is the original vestry house, c. 1751

Charleston fell to the British during the American Revolution in 1780 and was occupied. As the British evacuated the city in 1782, they burned many of the things in the path of their retreat, including Christ Church. Though the interior was destroyed the walls you see today remained standing. Parishioners rebuilt the church in 1788.

During the last months of the American Civil War, the church and its graveyard were occupied by an African American calvary unit. Their valued horses were stabled in the church building, while the men camped around the graveyard. The church's interior was stripped bare for use as firewood. It was rebuilt by 1874.

The graveyard contains just under 900 souls, dating back from the mid-1700s to today. Here are a few of folks we'll discuss:

  • Col. Charles Pinckney, 1731-1782
  • Lofton Family, d. 1858
  • Lt. William Gadsden Daniels, 1920-1944
  • Elizabeth Catherine Palmer Porcher, 1833-1917
  • Arthur Trezevant and Maria Louise Procher Wayne
  • John Minott and Fennie Fell Rivers
  • The Hon. Dr. James Burrow Edwards, 1927-2014
  • Dr. Peter Porcher Bonneau, 1814-1871
  • James Walter Hansen, 1930-2012
Christ Church and U.S. Highway 17 in the early 20th century.

Miraculously, the church's original silver chalice, c. 1680, has survived the wars, storms, fires and occupations experienced by the church. Today the chalice, along with its paten (or communion plate), c. 1763, as well as other communion vessels are on display at The Charleston Museum. They are still used for special occasions.