The Beauty of Holiness: Anglicanism & Architecture in Colonial South Carolina

By Louis P. Nelson | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
CAROLINA IN YE WEST INDIES

Not far from the strip malls of South Carolina Highway 52 stands an ancient church still protected from suburban sprawl by a sheltering wood (FIG. 7.1). An architectural frontispiece of pilasters, entablature, and pediment surrounds the large double door of the brick building's striking facade. Tall, arched windows open through each of the four elevations, rusticated quoins of plaster trim each of the building's corners, and the gable ends terminate in the clipped profile of a jerkinhead roof. Dedicated in 1719 but begun some years before, St. James, Goose Creek, is the most well-preserved early church in South Carolina, and it survives as an important testament to the colony's earliest heritage.1 Due to its dense population of Barbadian emigrants in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Goose Creek has long been associated with the Caribbean. The so-called Goose Creek Men were a party of fervent Anglicans who played a significant role in the passage of the Church Act and other church-state politics in the early colony. By extension, the architecture of St. James has long been celebrated for its “Caribbean

FIGURE 7.1 Exterior view
of St. James, Goose Creek,
Berkeley County, begun 1714
(Photo by author)

-253-

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