Historic Churches in the Beaufort Area
Beaufort has a great many historical churches as well as modern houses of worship. Many of the historic churches were used during the Civil War as hospitals, often using the huge gravestones as tables for operating on wounded Union soldiers. Most of the historic churches are still in use.
Prince Williams Parish Church
One of the best known churches in the Beaufort area is also known as the Old Sheldon Ruins. Originally built in the 1700's, it was the first attempt at Greek Revival architecture in America. It was destroyed two times, once by the British General Augustine Prevost in the Revolutionary War, and again by General Sherman in the Civil War. Although it was never rebuilt, it is still used for Easter services and weddings and is a very popular photography spot.
The St. Helena's Episcopal Church
Built in 1724, was used by the Union as a hospital during the Civil War. Buried under the dome vault is Colonel John Barnwell, better known as the famous Indian fighter "Tuscarora Jack". He was the founder of Beaufort Town.
Beaufort Baptist Church
The Beaufort Baptist Church was built in 1844 and was used during the Civil War as a Union Army Hospital. This church is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture and has a beautiful cemetery on the church grounds.
First African Baptist Church & Brick Baptist Church
The First African Baptist Church was built in 1865, and was given to the newly freed slaves in the Beaufort area. The Brick Baptist Church, part of the Penn Center National Historic Landmark District, was built in 1855. It was used as a church, meeting hall, and community center for the freed slaves who lived on St. Helena Island areas during the reconstruction period after the Civil War.