Charleston’s Forgotten Church

St. Peter's Churchyard
At the beginning of the War Between the States, there were 10 Episcopal churches in downtown Charleston, but only two were located in the fabled South of Broad area – St. Michael’s and St. Peter’s. St. Peter’s, which was located on the east side of Logan Street between Broad and Tradd, burned in the great fire of December, 1861, and there are no photographs or historic descriptions. Because the congregation was organized in the summer of 1834, and the church consecrated on December 30th, 1835, it’s construction was presumably not as grand as St. Michael’s, but similar to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Anson Street, which was built in 1836. The original congregation included both black and white parishioners, and ascribed to the Oxford Theology movement that began in England the 1830’s, which was a “high-church” Anglican theory of being a branch of Catholicism on par with the Roman church. Prominent Charleston families such as the Barnwells and deSaussures were among the St. Peter’s faithful, but all was lost in the great fire that swept through the western extent of the city in 1861.
Today, a rather unattractive condominium stands on the old St. Peter’s location, surrounded by graves from the antebellum church yard, that is still kept, squeezed in a narrow space south of the condo.

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