South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Central Baptist Church, Charleston County (26 Radcliffe St., Charleston)
S1081771009701 S1081771009702 S1081771009703 S1081771009704 S1081771009705
Lower Facade Upper Facade Left Oblique Right Oblique Right Elevation

Central Baptist Church (ca. 1893) is significant in terms of black history and folk art. Locally, it is thought to be one of the first black churches to have been founded and built solely by blacks in Charleston. The church was founded in 1891 by a group from Morris Street Baptist Church, an older church in Charleston. Two years later the present structure was completed and first used by the congregation in August 1893. During its first 20 years the church grew and this growth is reflected in the addition of the notable murals of 1915. The church is an excellent example of the Carpenter Gothic vernacular style of architecture. Outstanding features of this church which are indicative of the style and period are the central double doors with protective hood above, octagonal belfry and dome, tower window with plate tracery, interior gallery on three sides, and Milai frescoes and murals depicting scenes of the life of Christ, signed by the artist Amohamed Milai in 1915. The gable roof is covered with standing seam tin and the boxed cornice features decorative brackets. The Adult Education Building to the right of the church is a typical Victorian “single house” of the period and is included within the nominated acreage. Listed in the National Register August 16, 1977.

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