Salem Black River Presbyterian Church – Sumter County, South Carolina
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Please note that Salem Black River Presbyterian Church is located on private property. It is open to the public for Sunday services twice a month.
A log meeting-style house and a wooden frame building occupied this space before the first brick building was constructed in 1802, giving this church its nickname of “Brick Church.” The present church was built in 1846 and stands as one of the earliest brick churches in South Carolina.
Prior to Emancipation, blacks had attended this church as slaves and sat in the slave gallery, segregated from the white worshipers below. The slave gallery above the sanctuary is now used as a balcony for all members.
After Emancipation, freed blacks who had attended Salem Black River Presbyterian Church left the congregation and formed their own church, Goodwill Presbyterian.
The cemetery dates from 1794 and sits on land officially deed to the church in 1830.
Salem Black River Presbyterian Church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places:
(Brick Church) Salem Black River Presbyterian Church, built in 1846, is a well-preserved example of Greek Revival architecture. From the time of its organization in the mid-eighteenth century until the present, Salem Church has played an important role in the development of history of the surrounding rural community. The church has been virtually unaltered since its construction. It features massive stucco-over-brick columns, a gable roof and a pedimented portico. Basilican in plan, the interior of Salem Black River Church is simple. A slave gallery extends along three sides and is supported by square paneled wooden pillars.
Reflections on the Salem Black River Church
Contributor Kelly Lee Brosky, who took the first photo on this page, shares her experience at Salem Black River Church: “We are a small local paranormal group and we came across this beautiful old church. While doing a daylight investigation of the very old cemetery, I snapped this picture of the gorgeous old church.”
Salem Black River Presbyterian Church Info
Address: 1060 Brick Church Road, Mayesville, SC 29104
Salem Black River Presbyterian Church Map
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