St. Michael’s Church

On Sunday, June 22, 2008, Betsy and I worshipped at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina. St. Michael’s is the oldest church building in the City of Charleston, standing on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia. In the 1680’s a small wooden church, the first in the new town of Charles Town, was built on the present site of St. Michael’s. By 1727 that church, St. Philip’s, was too small for the congregation and a new church was built on a new site.

By 1751 the new St. Philip’s was too small for the increasing population, and a new church was authorized by the General Assembly of the Province, to be built on the old site and to be known as St. Michael’s. The cornerstone was laid in 1752 and in 1761 the church was opened for services. Except of the addition of the sacristy in 1883, the structure of the building has changed very little.

The interior of the church is also like it was when built. The pulpit and pews are original, as is the organ case, although a new organ was installed in the case in 1994.

George Washington worshipped at St. Michael’s on May 8, 1791 and Robert E. Lee worshipped there in the fall of 1861, They both sat in Pew No. 43, originally known as “The Governor’s Pew”. Unfortunately we didn’t know which pew they had used until we read material from the church after we got back home.

The service when we were there was well-attended by people of all ages. The rector gave a wonderful sermon and we enjoyed the service a great deal. I’d like to go back just to have an opportunity to sit in Pew No. 43!

To see more of St. Michael’s click HERE.

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