South Carolina

St. James-Santee Episcopal Church – McClellanville, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County Photos  |  St. James-Santee Episcopal Church

Edit This Page  |  Leave A Comment

The St. James-Santee Episcopal Church in McClellanville was built in 1890 as a chapel-of-ease for the Wambaw Church within the St. James-Santee Parish. The parish was established in 1706 by the Church of England and served French Huguenots who had arrived in 1687 – two years after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes – to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. It was the first parish to be established outside of Charleston, and the area was called the French Santee.

Barry Gooch of Port Royal © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The French immigrants wished to establish a community on the river bluff and found the soil along the Santee River to be ideal for planting rice. Many of the settlers flourished by growing of the cash crop. These Huguenots, enjoying their prosperous new world along the Santee, may have joined the Anglican parish system for several reasons.

St. James Church McClellanville

Kathie Lee of Hollywood, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Church of England became the official church of the colonies in 1704, and the Church Act of 1706 established parishes as administrative, political bodies. Parish status had to be granted by the Church of England, and obtaining parish status ensured members a minister whose salary was supplied by the Anglican Church. Belonging to a parish also afforded political opportunities within the parish system, as parishes had voting rights.

Saint James-Santee Episcopal Church

Norma Armstrong of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Many French settlers eventually intermarried with English families, and assimilation to the Anglican way of life became inevitable. Because the worship services of the Huguenots and the Church of England were similar, many French settlers did not object to Anglican services, particularly when the French were permitted to worship in their native language.

Saint James Santee Interior

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

This chapel was the sixth church built within the St. James-Santee Parish and became the primary church after the Civil War, when rice plantations along the Santee, which depended upon slave labor, were abandoned and former planters moved to more central locations such as McClellanville. The church is framed with native longleaf pine and cypress. The roof and exterior sidewalls are covered with black cypress shingles which were individually shaped with a handsaw.

St. James Santee Chapel

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

St. James Santee Church

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

St. James-Santee Episcopal Church is listed in the National Register as part of the McClellanville Historic District:

The McClellanville Historic District contains a collection of approximately 105 residential, commercial, religious and educational properties dating from ca. 1860 to ca. 1935. This collection is architecturally significant as an illustration of the founding of a pineland resort village and its development into a small but stable year-round commercial fishing village. McClellanville begin in the late 1850s as a summer retreat for St. James Santee and Georgetown planters.

The prevailing vernacular forms, especially the central hall farmhouse, predominated in early McClellanville architecture, although the more fashionable architectural styles began to receive attention and can be seen throughout the town: Carpenter Gothic, Queen Anne, and Italianate with a rare Colonial Revival example. The commercial strip developed in the early 20th century and are of frame construction built directly on the road. The historic district is visually unified by the nearly ubiquitous wooden frame construction, by the consistent scale of the house, lots, and their relation to the banks of the creek, by the tremendous live oak trees that permeate the town, and by the relative absence of contemporary commercial intrusions.

Reflections on St. James-Santee Episcopal Church

Bud Hill, McClellanville’s resident historian, sends us this valuable information about the St. James-Santee Episcopal Church: “My great-great-grandfather, Dr. William Thomas Wilkins Baker, had the idea to build this beautiful little chapel. He was also the head of the building committee. The church was built for $560. Paul B. Drayton, the amazing ex-slave builder, was the contractor, finishing it in 1890.

“Dr. Baker also preached at the chapel when they did not have a real minister serving the Parish. He could do anything. He also served in the state House of Representatives. Paul B. Drayton was also elected to the state house by the people of St. James-Santee Parish in 1880. It was an amazing time in our history.”

St. James-Santee Episcopal Church Info

Address: 144 Oak Street, McClellanville, SC 29458
GPS Coordinates: 33.084937,-79.462060

St. James-Santee Episcopal Church Map

St. James-Santee Episcopal Church – 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-Santee Episcopal Church, 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!


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!

2 Comments about St. James-Santee Episcopal Church

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
November 7th, 2017 at 11:27 pm

Yes, it is! This was considered the Chapel-of-Ease which would have been a chapel that was closer to many homes in early times.

Fred ShinnersNo Gravatar says:
November 6th, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Is this church related to St. James Church on the King’s Highway? (Old Georgetown Road)

St. James-Santee Episcopal Church - Related Entries

Goodwill Parochial School

Bethel CME in Johnston, SC

Waxhaw Presbyterian Church

Zion Presbyterian Church Lowrys

Lutheran Church in Sandy Run

Downtown Baptist Church

Wedgefield Presbyterian

Wedgefield Baptist Church

Liberty Universalist Church


Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2018, LLC All rights reserved.