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

Washington Street United Methodist Church, Richland County (1401 Washington St., Columbia)
S1081774000801 S1081774000802 S1081774000803 S1081774000804 S1081774000805
Facade Left Oblique Main Entrance Window Detail Tower Detail

Washington Street United Methodist Church is one of Columbia’s four most historic churches. Organized in 1803, the congregation built a frame church that was the first house of worship in Columbia. A brick structure built in 1830s burned in 1865. According to legend, the church was destroyed by Union soldiers looking for First Baptist Church, site of the first meeting of South Carolina secession convention, and were directed here by a Baptist sexton. A small chapel built of brick salvaged from ruins was replaced by the present church that was erected with funds collected throughout the nation. Completed in 1872, the Washington Street Church is a red brick Victorian Gothic church with double-shouldered buttresses and a large arched center entrance with double doors flanked by similar arched entrances. The church features a fully developed tower with a steeple on the left side of the front fašade with matching lines extending to the roofline on the right. Both towers are topped with four pinnacles with unusual crown-shaped ornaments, giving the appearance of Islamic influence. Stained glass windows depict life of Christ without using human figures. Listed in the National Register December 18, 1970.

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