Washington Street United Methodist Church

1401 Washington St., Columbia, South Carolina


Washington Street United Methodist Church

Photo taken by Michael Miller on August 22, 2018



Street View 


Washington Street United Methodist Church is one of Columbia’s four most historic churches. Organized in 1803, the congregation built a frame church that was the first house of worship in Columbia. A brick structure built in 1830s burned in 1865. According to legend, the church was destroyed by Union soldiers looking for First Baptist Church, site of the first meeting of South Carolina secession convention, and were directed here by a Baptist sexton. A small chapel built of brick salvaged from ruins was replaced by the present church that was erected with funds collected throughout the nation. Completed in 1872, the Washington Street Church is a red brick Victorian Gothic church with double-shouldered buttresses and a large arched center entrance with double doors flanked by similar arched entrances. The church features a fully developed tower with a steeple on the left side of the front façade with matching lines extending to the roofline on the right. Both towers are topped with four pinnacles with unusual crown-shaped ornaments, giving the appearance of Islamic influence. Stained glass windows depict life of Christ without using human figures. Listed in the National Register December 18, 1970. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 18, 1970
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Gothic
Areas of significance
Architecture; Religion
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


19th Century (37,887)
Brick (42,462)
Built 1872 (431)
Built during 1870s (5,029)
Church (5,715)
Columbia, South Carolina (110)
Gothic (1,440)
Have Street View (47,033)
Place of worship (6,082)
Private owner (54,398)
Richland County, South Carolina (177)
South Carolina (2,160)
Stone (26,160)
Victorian (19,698)

Update Log 

  • August 23, 2018: New photo from Michael Miller
  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 20, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller