Huguenot Church

Charleston, South Carolina | C.1844

Photo Credit: Cambron Elsey

In April of 1680, the ship “Richmond” arrived in Charleston with 45 French Protestants (Huguenots) aboard. More refugees soon followed, and in 1687, a church was built on what is now the corner of Church St. and Queen St. in downtown Charleston. About 450 Huguenots had settled in the Low Country of South Carolina by 1700.

The original church was destroyed in 1796, and while a replacement for the original building was completed in 1800, it was dismantled in 1844 to make way for the present Gothic Revival edifice, designed by Edward Brickell White and dedicated in 1845.

The Huguenot Church boasts a varied congregation made up of young individuals, families with children as well as mid-life and senior members. Although there are members who are descendants of French Huguenot families, being of Huguenot descent is not a requirement for membership and all are welcome.

In 1973, the church was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the United State’s National Register of Historic Places. Today, services still follow 18th century French liturgy, but are conducted in English except once per year.

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