Bethel Presbyterian Church

SC 557, Clover, South Carolina

Photo 

Bethel Presbyterian Church

Photo taken by Michael Miller July 2015

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Description 

Bethel Presbyterian Church, located near the town of Clover, was built in the spring and summer of 1873. The church, a local interpretation of a colonial meeting house, is set on the second level of a hill near a spring. It is the fourth house of worship to occupy this site and is architecturally significant as an example of style and construction methods of a much earlier period. The heavy post and beam, hand-hewn, wooden pegged construction is unusual for so late in the century, especially when lighter, more rapid assembled methods were in common use. The king post truss used in Bethel’s roof structure is an ancient design found in some of America’s earliest churches. Bethel represents an architectural achievement during a time of political and social upheaval and economic adversity that marked the Reconstruction era. Bethel’s congregation constructed a commodious house of worship under severely reduced circumstances, doing so without incurring debt. Bethel was the “mother church” to two other Presbyterian churches formed in the area. A large well-tended cemetery covers three acres of a ridge on the property’s east side. Enclosed by a stone wall, it contained some three to four thousand graves in 1887, the earliest marker dated 1774. Many Revolutionary soldiers of the Battle of Kings Mountain are buried here. Listed in the National Register December 10, 1980. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 10, 1980
Reference number
80003714
Areas of significance
Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
1850-1874
Significant year
1873

Update Log 

  • July 30, 2015: New photo from Michael Miller
  • October 24, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo

Sources