Catholic Presbyterian Church

14 mi. S of Chester on SC 97 and CR 355, Chester, South Carolina

Historic church near Chester, SC


Catholic Presbyterian Church

Photo taken by Michael Miller

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The present brick church building, completed in 1842 by Irish émigré David Lyle and the third on the site, is an excellent example of meeting house architecture. Historically and architecturally significant is this church which, after its organization in 1759, served the area’s first settlers (mostly Scotch-Irish Presbyterians) and later sent an impressive number of soldiers from its congregation to fight in the Revolution. Still in use at the time of its nomination, the church has one of the state’s longest records of continuous use. Known as the “Mother of Churches” in this area, Catholic Presbyterian was also the mother of other churches founded in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas by members who migrated to these states. It remains virtually as built, of hand-pressed brick, and displays such original features as molded brick cornices, pegged front doors, pine floors and pews. The cemetery, surrounded by a fieldstone wall, contains many old markers. A granite marker, erected in 1933 by Catholic’s Memorial Association, lists names of sixty-two soldiers from the church who fought in the Revolutionary War. Listed in the National Register May 6, 1971.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1971
Reference number
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing sites: 1
Non-contributing structures: 1

Update Log 

  • October 29, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Overview"
  • October 29, 2013: New photo from Michael Miller