Antioch Christian Church – Allendale, South Carolina
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Antioch Christian church in Allendale was formed in 1833, and this “meeting house”-style structure was built circa 1835. Antioch Christian Church was the second Disciples of Christ church formed in South Carolina and remains the state’s oldest church structure of that denomination.
The church was founded by Dr. William R. Erwin and after he, his wife, and her sister-in-law were excommunicated from Kirkland Church (now Smyrna Baptist Church) on charges of heterodoxy, or disagreeing with church orthodoxy. The group met in Dr. Erwin’s home for worship prior to the construction of this church.
Antioch Christian Church is listed in the National Register, which says the following:
Antioch Christian Church, built ca. 1835, was the second Disciples of Christ Church in South Carolina. Today, according to the South Carolina Disciples, it is the oldest standing structure of that faith in the state and has been referred to as the “Mother Church.” Antioch is also significant as an excellent example of the meeting house style of church architecture. The clapboard structure rests upon low brick pier foundations and has a hipped roof covered by pressed tin. The front (west) façade features double six-paneled doors with a five-paned transom, flanked by a window on each side. The right side façade has a single six-paneled door with a four-paned transom. This door is flanked by one window to the left and two on the right.
The rear (east) façade reveals the only major alteration to the structure – two doors were cut from two original windows in the 1930s to provide passage to Sunday School rooms. These rooms have since been torn down and the doorways covered with siding. The simplicity of the design is carried out in the interior. The walls are plaster, and the original pews of hand-hewn pine remain intact. The South Carolina Disciples of Christ renovated the church in 1976, although the interior was not included in the renovation. Included within the acreage is a cemetery where many of Allendale’s oldest families are buried.
Many thanks to Bill Fitzpatrick of Taylors for sharing this shot. Bill enjoys the singular distinction of being the only person ever to have visited all 1,400 of South Carolina’s National Historic Landmarks. He has published several helpful e-books which serve as invaluable travel guides to the Palmetto State.
Antioch Christian Church Info
Address: SC Highway 3, Allendale, SC 29810
Antioch Christian Church Map
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