Old Wappetaw

1696 – A colony of New England Congregationalists (52) settled on the coast near See Wee Bay between Charleston and the present McClellanville, and established Old Wappetaw, one of the first churches organized in Carolina.

1782 – During the Revolution the British dispensed with the congregation, and occupied the building using it as a barracks. The pastor, the Reverend Mr. Atkins, was murdered by his slaves “at the instigation of the British.” When Charleston was evacuated, the British burned the church building with all its records.

1786 – A new church building was erected on the site and was incorporated as the Wappetaw Independent Church in Christ Church Parish.

Civil War – Our predecessors lost many members in the Civil War. The second church building was used as a barracks by the Union troops. The pews were used for fire wood and the church vandalized at the end of the war.

After 150 years of useful life in a large territory between the Wando River and the sea and Charleston and the Santee River, two daughter churches grew up, Mount Pleasant (1850) and McClellanville (1872), resulting in cessation of worship in Old Wappetaw.

Summer 1872 – First sermon to be preached by a Presbyterian minister in McClellanville was by Reverend John L. Girardeau. Shortly after a number of members of the Old Wappetaw church residing in McClellanville assembled and organized themselves into a congregation to be known as “New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church.” A house of worship was erected 1874-1875 and on June 20, 1875, Rev. T.R. English held the first service. Dedication of the church building was held August 1876 by Rev. John Girardeau who had encouraged the organization in 1872.

1875 – Charleston Presbytery met in McClellanville. In returning the ministers visited the venerable Old Wappetaw. In the long disused building of precious associations, they gathered under the lofty pulpit with the sounding board, the Rev. James Bulloch Dunwoody offered a prayer and all with profound solemnity sang the Doxology, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” That was the last service to be held within the hallowed walls.

1877 – “New Wappetaw” Church came into possession of the Old Wappetaw cemetery, original communion silver, and linen. The linen bears the date of 1831.

1897 -Old Wappetaw church building having fallen into disrepair collapsed.
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