Bethel AME Church – McClellanville, South Carolina

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The Bethel AME Church is located in McClellanville, a historic fishing village about 24 miles south of Georgetown. Constructed in 1872, this Gothic Revival style church is one of the oldest African American churches in the area.

Bethel AME Church

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Bethel AME Church is listed in the National Register, which adds the following:

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, built ca. 1872, is significant as an example of late-nineteenth century vernacular Gothic Revival church architecture and as an illustration of the growth of the A.M.E. Church among freedmen in Reconstruction-era South Carolina. Organized in 1867, Bethel A.M.E. was the first African American church in McClellanville.

The rectangular building, set upon low brick piers, is approximately 30 x 82 feet, with a pedimented gable-front roof that supports a square-based steeple. The red V-crimp metal-clad steeple roof is steeply pitched, flared, and has narrow gabled Gothic dormers on each face. The Gothic Revival style church is sided with cypress fishscale shingles with the exception of the front bays of both side elevations, which are covered with white asbestos shingles. Windows are four-over-two with a two-light transom. The transom and upper four-light sections are fixed; the lower two-light sash opens outward in an awning-like configuration.

Some windows and all transoms retain the original colored panes; most of the windowpanes were replaced in 1989 after Hurricane Hugo. There are blind pointed Gothic arches with chevron wooden panels over each window. The church cemetery, with tombstones dating from the 1880s to the late twentieth century, also contributes to the historic character of the property.

Bethel AME Church Info

Address: 369 Drayton Street, McClellanville, SC 29458

Bethel AME Church Map

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