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“C” is for Church of the Nativity

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “C” is for Church of the Nativity [Union]. Located in Union, the Church of the Nativity is a remarkably effective example of the “Ecclesiological” architectural style favored by the Episcopal Church in America and the Anglican Communion throughout the world in the 1840s and 1850s. John D. McCullough, the rector served as the supervising architect—using plans of St. Anne’s, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Ecclesiological designs emphasized pointed arches and windows, stone construction, flying buttresses, recessed chancels, and stained glass. The Church of the Nativity, the first stone Episcopal Church in South Carolina, had them all—and an unusual bellcote as well. When the church was consecrated in 1859, the Southern Episcopalian magazine termed it “an exquisite gem.” The Church of the Nativity was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.