McBee Methodist Church

Also known as: McBee Chapel
Main St., Conestee, South Carolina

Historic church in Greenville, SC


McBee Methodist Church

Photo taken by Michael Miller


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Architecturally unique, McBee Methodist Church was designed ca. 1842 by John Adams, a local wheelwright who felt that more seating space could be secured by an octagonal arrangement. The little structure is a fine example of octagonal architecture in vogue in the United States from the 1840s-1860s, its prime advantage being that it encloses one-fifth more floor area than a square with the same total length of wall. In addition, octagonal design offered a new aesthetic dimension to American architecture at this time. The eight-sided brick structure has a pyramidal asphalt shingle roof topped by an octagonal louvered cupola. It also features a molded brick cornice and a whitewashed base. The small stained glass panes surrounding larger panes of clear glass were added at a later date. The balcony, formerly used by slaves prior to the Civil War, was later removed and its door converted to another window. The church has a seating capacity of 150. The church was named for Vardry McBee, the “Father of Greenville” who provided funds for the little church. Listed in the National Register March 23, 1972. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 23, 1972
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Octagon Mode
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
ca. 1842

Update Log 

  • November 4, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Overview", Updated "GPS Coordinates"