First Presbyterian Church, Columbia

First Presbyterian Church, Columbia

The origins of the First Presbyterian Church trace back to 1795, when its initial meetings were held, but it wasn't until 1813 that the congregation had its own building. That same year, the South Carolina Legislature officially incorporated the church as the "First Presbyterian Church of the Town of Columbia," marking its formal establishment.

Before the church had its own building, the site where it now stands was a shared cemetery with the local Episcopal congregation from 1794 to 1813. The legislature allocated this cemetery and other lands to both Episcopalians and Presbyterians, creating a shared space for both congregations. According to local legend, the First Presbyterian Church and the nearby Trinity Episcopal Cathedral determined their respective lots by drawing lots. The Presbyterians received the cemetery at the corner of Lady and Marion Streets, which became the location of their church.

The original 1813 building of the First Presbyterian Church still exists today, known as Jackson Hall. However, the growing congregation necessitated the construction of a larger building, and in 1854, a new English Gothic structure was completed. This new church, spared destruction during General Sherman's march to the sea during the Civil War, faced other challenges.

In 1875, a hurricane destroyed its original 180-foot spire, which was then rebuilt in 1888. Further damage occurred in a 1910 fire, leading to another reconstruction that increased the spire's height by eight feet. A significant remodeling in 1925 expanded the church's capacity from 800 to 1,250, lengthening the building by 40 feet and adding classrooms on the sides, a choir loft at the rear, and a rebuilt organ loft.

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First Presbyterian Church on Map

Sight Name: First Presbyterian Church
Sight Location: Columbia, USA (See walking tours in Columbia)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Columbia, South Carolina

Create Your Own Walk in Columbia

Create Your Own Walk in Columbia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Columbia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Houses and Buildings Walk

Historical Houses and Buildings Walk

Columbia is a city rich in history and architectural heritage, boasting an array of historical houses and buildings that offer a window into its storied past. From grand antebellum mansions and elegant townhomes to significant public buildings and modest residences, these structures reflect the diverse cultural, social, and economic tapestry of the city. Each building tells a unique story, whether...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Columbia Introduction Walking Tour

Columbia Introduction Walking Tour

Columbia is a beautiful city, the largest one in South Carolina, with a great history and beautiful landmarks. It has a large number of old houses that are now museums and that represent a whole part of the history. All these houses have been named after famous personalities and families from years ago. Take this tour and discover the beauty of downtown attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles