Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Old Bethel Methodist Church

Marker ID: SCHM 10-72
Location: 222 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC
County: Charleston
Style: Free Standing **


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.

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 by the Congregation, 2011