St. John's Lutheran Church

Also known as: St. John's Church, The White Church
SE of Pomaria, Pomaria, South Carolina

Historic church in rural Newberry County, SC


St Johns Lutheran Church

Photo taken by Michael Miller


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St. Johnís is unusual architecturally, reflecting a more sophisticated design than is usually found in rural 19th century churches in South Carolina. This ca. 1809 church is believed to be the oldest frame Lutheran church building in South Carolina. St. Johnís retains some beaded siding, a dentiled cornice, and a jerkin-head tin roof. The front faÁade features paneled entrance doors with an arched panel above, and an unusual configuration of windows with matching pairs in three successive tiers. The rear reveals a semi-circular chancel, believed to date from ca. 1892, with two Gothic style windows. All other windows feature solid-paneled shutters, surmounted by semi-circular window arches. The interior features a wooden barrel-vaulted ceiling and wide board walls. Narrow wooden stairways in the front corners of the church give access to a slave gallery. It is believed that St. Johnís Church was established in the 1750s by German settlers. The present building is believed to have been constructed in 1809 as the third structure to serve the St. Johnís congregation. A small, rectangular mid-nineteenth century clapboard school building is located east of the church, within the nominated acreage. Located to the north of the church is the church cemetery which contains several early graves with fieldstone markers. Listed in the National Register December 8, 1978. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1978
Reference number
Areas of significance
Architecture; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Religious structure; Cemetery; Church school
Current functions
Meeting hall; Cemetery
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1809
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2
Contributing sites: 1
Contributing objects: 1

Update Log 

  • November 8, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Overview", Updated "GPS Coordinates"