5 of the Best Charleston Churches to Visit

Gaze across the Charleston skyline and you understand why it's referred to as the Holy City. Founded in 1670 as an English colony, immigrants from many different European countries settled here in search of religious freedom and tolerance. The early immigrants brought a variety of worship ideologies: Protestant denominations, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism.

Thereafter, the 18th and 19th-century descendants of these newly formed congregations used their merchant wealth to build many of the immaculate Charleston churches that still stand today. In total, Charleston, SC, now lists over 400 places of worship.


What are the 5 Best Charleston SC Churches?

Charleston established itself as one of the largest and most active seaports on the East Coast. The towering church spires that still pepper the cityscape helped guide incoming ships into the Charleston Harbor. Today, they serve as a tangible reminder of religion’s role in Charleston's history.

Whether you’re a new resident in search of your permanent church family or visiting the Lowcountry and would like to experience a unique service during your stay, consider attending a service at one of these historic Charleston churches.

1. Grace Church Cathedral

Grace Church Cathedral is the diocesan cathedral of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Bishop Christopher Gadsen consecrated the 5th Charleston Episcopalian church in 1847. The European-inspired Gothic sanctuary features several stained glass windows. The large window over the altar depicts four sacraments. In the nave, you may view The Canterbury Stone cross gifted to Grace in 2015.

2. Circular Congregational Church

Founded by Charles Towne’s original settlers in 1681, the Circular Congregational Church is one of the oldest continuously worshipping congregations in the South. As the name belies, the church is circular. The churchyard serves as Charleston’s oldest Christian burial ground. Its sanctuary and Lance Hall are National Historic Landmarks. Today, the progressive church celebrates the diversity of its congregation.

3. Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim is the fourth oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Founded in 1749 it remains an important part of the Jewish community in Charleston. Its sanctuary was built in 1840.  It is the second oldest synagogue building in the country and the oldest in continuous use.

4. St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church

St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church was established in 1789. It is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in South Carolina and the mother church of Catholicism in the Carolinas and Georgia.  Its current sanctuary, built in 1839, offers unique Greek Revival architecture to discover.

5. St. Michael’s Church

Saint Michael's Church in Charleston, SC, is the oldest church edifice in the city. The two-story portico, supported by Tuscan columns offers the iconic image of a historic, Charleston church.  St. Michael's resides where the first church in Charleston, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, was built in the 1680s.

Since the 1760s, many original features of the sanctuary remain.  When you visit, you’ll witness stunning stained glass installed by Louis Tiffany. Enjoy sacred music played through a pipe organ. Listen to the clock tower bells chime from around South of Broad.

After a morning of worship spend the afternoon at the beach!

After attending a service at one of these historic Charleston churches, return to your luxurious home on Kiawah or Seabrook Island for a relaxing afternoon by the ocean.  Pam Harrington Exclusives will help you find the perfect place to call home.

Learn more about Lowcountry properties for sale online today. Then, contact us to take a tour of the beaches. If you see a property that interests you, we will schedule a showing.

best charleston sc churches

Many villas and condos are vacation rentals. It is important to work with an agent familiar with the island and policies. We offer over 45 years of continuous service on the islands.

Whatever brings you to our scenic barrier islands, we look forward to sharing the beautiful landscape and the Charleston beach communities of Kiawah and Seabrook Island with you!