James A. Neal


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North Church Street, Spartanburg





Date of Founding


Date of Photograph



This Gothic Revival sanctuary, constructed in 1885-1886 with substantive alterations in 1896-1897, 1909-1910, and 1930, is an excellent example of late 19th and early 20th century interpretations of the Gothic Revival style and is associated with some of the most prominent architects of South Carolina and the Southeast during the period. Central Methodist, the first church established in Spartanburg, was founded in 1838 and known as Spartanburg Methodist Church until 1889. The first sanctuary, a frame building, was built soon afterward and served the congregation until 1854, when it was demolished and replaced by a more substantial church. The second church was demolished in 1885 and replaced in 1886 by the present Gothic Revival church, described as “an ornament to our town” shortly before its dedication. The outside walls are a light yellow stucco, with beveled cast-stone window sills, belt courses and matching drip moulds over pointed arched window and door openings. A 100-foot bell tower on the southwest corner was adorned with a steeple, gables on each side, and pinnacles at all four corners. The 1896-1897 renovations are attributed to and were carried out according to plans by the noted order-by-mail house architect George F. Barber of Knoxville and under the supervision of an architect named Hill of Charlotte. The renovations included two large additions, a small secondary steeple, and a large addition to the main steeple. By 1909-1910, the congregation had increased to more than 800 members and reviewed plans by the Atlanta architectural firm of Norrman, Hentz & Reid for another expansion intended to increase the size of the sanctuary by some 60 percent. Within 20 years, the church needed still more room, and the church hired Charles W. Fant of Anderson as the architect for a Sunday School addition and a remodeling of the auditorium. Source: NRHP


National Register of Historic Places