Begun in 1859 as St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Charlotte Street, the massive Gothic Revival concept of famed Charleston architect Francis D. Lee was to have a 210-foot steeple and stucco facade over exquisite brick details. The church was not finished when the Civil War began, and money intended for its finish details was diverted to the defense of the city, so the spire and stucco never were added.
Changes in the city demographics by 1950 saw the congregation badly dwindled, and they joined St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Coming Street. The old building was sold to black parishioners and became the New
Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church, a congregation first established by Rev. Daniel Jenkins, who would achieve great fame as creator of the Jenkins Orphanage Band.
Today, weeds grow from the old bricks, and the small congregation hangs on to a faded remnant of antebellum Charleston.