Woodrow Memorial Presbyterian Church

Also known as: Bishop`s Memorial A.M.E. Church
2221 Washington St., Columbia, South Carolina


Woodrow Memorial Presbyterian Church, Left Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


Street View 


The Bishop’s Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church was constructed in 1907-1908 as the Woodrow Memorial Presbyterian Church. The church was built under the aegis of Columbia’s First Presbyterian Church as a memorial to Dr. James Woodrow (1828-1907), an important figure in Columbia’s religious and educational life. Woodrow was a professor at the Columbia (Presbyterian) Theological Seminary whose stand in favor of teaching evolution at the seminary caused a major upheaval in the Presbyterian Church of the United States in the 1880s. Debates before state synods resulted in a request for his resignation as a professor of natural sciences. In 1886 after Woodrow’s refusal to resign, the denomination’s General Assembly voted to dismiss him. Following the loss of this teaching position, Woodrow became President of the Central National Bank of Columbia until 1891 when he was appointed President of South Carolina College (later University of South Carolina). Woodrow Memorial Church served as a Presbyterian congregation until about 1924. In 1929, due to the growing African American population in the Waverly section of Columbia, the church became the Salters Memorial A.M.E. Church and in 1943 the name was changed to Bishop’s Memorial A.M.E. Church. Architecturally significant, the church is a well-built early twentieth century brick structure notable for the refined proportions of its interior detailing, and its exterior entablature and apsidal end. Listed in the National Register March 2, 1979. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 2, 1979
Reference number
Areas of significance
Commerce; Education; Architecture; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899
Significant years
1885; 1907

Update Log 

  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 20, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller