Baptist Church of Beaufort – 600 Charles Street, Beaufort SC

Built in: 1844

In 1795, Henry Holcombe of the Euhaw Church moved to Beaufort where a small building was built, probably on the present site of the Baptist Church. The Baptist Church of Beaufort was constituted in 1804 and grew rapidly under the direction of Richard Fuller. Fuller was a Harvard-educated lawyer who converted to the Baptist faith after a joint religious revival held by the Presbyterian, Episcopal and Baptist churches in 1831. The present church was built at a cost of $10,000 and was first used on 14 April 1844. In 1857, the congregation included 183 whites and 3,557 slaves, many of whom were served by missions on the islands. During the Civil War, the church, like so many other buildings in Beaufort, was used as a hospital. The congregation reclaimed the property after the war. An excellent example of the Greek Revival style, the exterior has been modified by the addition of a steeple in 1961 and by additions to the rear. The beautifully proportioned interior has a gallery on three sides, supported by fluted Doric columns. The cove ceiling has unusually fine plaster ornamentation which local tradition holds was made by some of the highly skilled slave artisans of the era. The band of leaves which surrounds the whole ceiling, the rosettes and paterae which make up most of the decorations are among the finest plaster works in Beaufort.

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