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St. James Parish – Goose Creek, South Carolina

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One of the first churches built in the colonies, St. James Parish Church located near Goose Creek, was completed in 1719. The parish was one of nine formed in South Carolina following the Church Act of 1706, which established the Church of England as the official state church. A wooden church was initially built for the St. James Parish, which was soon replaced by this stucco-covered brick church. Construction began on the church in 1713, and it was completed in 1719. Slaves most likely built the church for British planters, who settled here from Barbados in order to establish a new colony.

St. James Goose Creek

Bill Fitzpatrick of Taylors, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Notable exterior features of the church include decorative mortar work. Above each arched window sits a stucco cherub’s head, and above the entrance are five flaming hearts. Within the triangular pediment over the double doors rests a stuccoed pelican piercing her breast in order to feed her brood (detailed photo below). The bird is a symbol then used by the Anglican Society representing the Propagation of the Gospel, as the church had been sending funds from London to support parishes in the new colony.

St. James Perish Pelican Mortar

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Inside the church the Royal coat of arms graces the area above the pulpit. During the American Revolution, British troops were ordered to burn Lowcountry homes and churches as they left, but legend claims St. James was spared because of the church’s display of the coat of arms (below).

Members of General William Moultrie‘s family are buried within the churchyard of St. James Parish.

St. James Churchyard

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Parish is listed in the National Register:

Built 1713-1719 by early planters from Barbados, St. James Goose Creek is one of the earliest Georgian churches in the English colonies. The building is not only early, but generally recognized as one of the real architectural beauties in a category of small eighteenth century parish churches. St. James’ Church is a small, compact, rectangular one-story structure with stucco covered brick walls, and a slate jerkinhead roof. The round arched windows of the church are protected by exterior wooden shutters and framed by plaster architraves adorned with cherub’s heads. The corners of the building are marked by large quoins, and a small stucco cornice adorns the eaves line. The vestry was incorporated in 1778, and it is said that the presence of the royal coat of arms over the pulpit saved the church from destruction in 1779-1780 when British troops moved through South Carolina during the American Revolution. Services were discontinued during the latter part of the war, and the Church of England was disestablished. The revival of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina took place gradually from 1795-1817.

St. James Historic

More Pictures of St. James Parish

St. James Marker

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Marker Back

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Alter

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Parish Church

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Lod's Prayer

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Ten Commandments

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Coat of Arms

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

St. James Parish Info

Address: 100 Vestry Lane, Goose Creek, SC 29445
GPS Coordinates: 32.975483,-80.032627

St. James Parish Map

St. James Parish – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of St. James Parish, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

7 Comments about St. James Parish

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
June 8th, 2017 at 9:41 pm

The church is located behind a gate because it has been the victim of vandalism and is in a vulnerable position. Visitors are welcome to contact the vestry to inquire about an appointment for visitation. The website with the contact information is here: Hope this helps!

Daniel ChenowethNo Gravatar says:
June 8th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Why is it now behind a gate? Why can’t we see our national historic landmark anymore?

James B. Godfrey,IIINo Gravatar says:
March 17th, 2017 at 3:26 pm

I am looking for any information on James Warren Godfrey. I see there is a comment from Jean Godfrey, who is my first cousin once removed, and also from a James Warren Godfrey who is maybe kin, as James W. Godfrey was my great-great grandfather.

Jean GodfreyNo Gravatar says:
November 4th, 2013 at 9:56 am

I misunderstood that I should put my name in the first space. I am looking for James W. Godfrey. My name is Jean Godfrey. Sorry for the error.

James Warren GodfreyNo Gravatar says:
November 4th, 2013 at 9:53 am

I am looking for my great grandfather, James W. Godfrey, who died Nov. 9, 1861 in Savannah, Georgia, but is believed to be buried in this area, as this is where he was born.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 19th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Hi Janice! Try taking a look at our Berkeley County Genealogy Resources. Here you’ll find a variety of resources to help you find this information. Hope this helps and good luck! – SCIWAY

janice prestonNo Gravatar says:
March 15th, 2012 at 9:53 am

I am looking for my great grandfather, James Sanders. Where could I find a list of the people buried in the graveyard?


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