Monday, November 21, 2016

The Oldest Church in the 'Holy City'


Our first visitor in our new location arrived from Minnesota for the weekend, just in time to miss the first snow storm of the year.  We picked my daughter Sarah up at the airport in Charleston and spent the day exploring the beautiful city.

We walked around the harbor and the city for a couple hours and had some pork barbecue the South is famous for for lunch. Next stop was the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street, Charles Towne's  first church, built in 1681 within the walled city.
It's hard to get a photo of the front because it is blocked by trees. It's quite large and if you look closely you can see it extends way to the left behind the sign.

Charleston is known as the Holy City because of its history of religious tolerance and the many historical steeples that tower above the skyline.  The steeples were also very useful landmarks for guiding ships into Charleston, one of the most important ports on the East Coast.

The current church was designed and built in 1804.  The architect called for no steeple, and it was built that way. The lack of a steeple made the church the butt of jokes and drew so much derision a steeple was added in 
the 1830s.
From the back ...


In 1780, during the American Revolution, the church was hit by a British cannonball.  Thirty-six of its prominent members were captured and sent as prisoners to St. Augustine, Florida and then to Philadelphia.  During the occupation of Charleston, the British used the church as a hospital.


Entrance to the graveyard

"May Peace Prevail on Earth"

Each side of the signpost has the same words in different languages.  

The oldest graves are from the 1690s.

Art Work from the Grave Markers,
"Symbols that tell the stories of the dead and how they were thought of by their survivors"


If I lived in Charleston I think this just might be my church!


  1. What an interesting history attached to the church. Those grave stones tell a story.

  2. Such a beautiful church with so much history. How wonderful to have your daughter visit, exciting times for you.

  3. What a beautiful church! Have fun with your first visitor! :)

  4. Such history! Coming from such a new country (New Zealand was only set foot on by Europeans in 1769, but Maori were here 700 years ago), I admire countries with such wonderfully preserved historic buildings. How lovely to have your daughter with you.

  5. I find the long history very interesting as our history here is a little over 100 years.

  6. It is such a beautiful little city, always enjoy visiting there.

  7. Such a lovely church. We are members of a UCC church here in Columbia. Glad to hear this one is inclusive as well.

  8. Some church with a great history, and it's pleasing it's still yused as a church.
    The graveyard looks interesting, there is just something about an old graveyard that's appealing.
    Good to see your daughter visiting her mum.

  9. Interesting history, that church has seen much.

  10. Hey Cynthia. Glad your daughter could come for a visit. Bet you were so excited and anxious for her to get there. Daughters are special. That's a beautiful old church. I do love Charleston and hope to go back for a visit some time. Happy Thanksgiving!