Sidney Park Colored Methodist Episcopal Church

Also known as: Sidney Park Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
1114 Blanding St., Columbia, South Carolina


Sidney Park Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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Sidney Park Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (formerly Sidney Park Colored Methodist Episcopal Church) was established in 1886. It is an important part of the African American experience in Columbia as well as an example of late Gothic Revival church architecture. The founding members of the church were originally members of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. When a disagreement occurred within Bethel A.M.E in the 1880s, six hundred members left to form Sidney Park. They began holding services at Stenhouse Hall, now known as Oliver Gospel Mission. In November of 1886, the group incorporated as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church denomination and began looking for a new place of worship. With free labor and materials provided by the congregation, a wood frame church was completed in 1889 at the corner of Assembly and Blanding Streets. This building burnt ca. 1890-1892. The present church, of the same design, was built in 1893 of brick construction. Sidney Park has the only set of octagonal towers in Columbia. The tower to the east is topped by an octagonal steeple; the tower to the west has an octagonal steeple with has a circular cap covering and accentuating its point. These and other Gothic influences such as the lancet windows and pointed arches throughout, the wall buttresses, and the heavy timber truss system found in the sanctuary, help illustrate the building’s architectural significance. The congregation has a long history of involvement with civil rights activity and connection with the NAACP, whose current offices are housed in the former parsonage of the church. Listed in the National Register October 24, 1996. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 24, 1996
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Late Gothic Revival
Areas of significance
Architecture; Ethnic Heritage - Black
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 18, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo