Skip to main content

St. Mark's Episcopal Church records

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1121

Collection Overview

The collection contains materials relating to the establishment, development and operation of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church; including administrative records such as a register of church services, meeting minutes and proceedings, and a Sunday school roll book; financial records that include account books, ledgers and treasurer reports; and items documenting church membership, such as parish registers. Also present in the collection are materials relating to the acquisition and maintenance of the church. The St. Mark's Episcopal Church Records is 5.2 linear feet and consists of materials dating from 1862 - 2005, with bulk dates spanning the years 1965 - 1984.

Series 1. Institutional History, 1862-1988, undated is 0.21 linear feet and consists of materials related to the founding and history of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church. It includes legal documents, church histories and studies, architectural descriptions, literary productions, and photographic and printed material.

Series 2. Administrative, 1865-1991, undated is 0.8 linear feet and encompasses records pertaining to the development and operation of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church. It includes vestry meeting minutes, notes and documentation of proceedings; registers of church services; a Sunday school officers and teachers roll; and literary productions and printed materials from the Diocese of South Carolina.

Series 3. Membership Records, 1864-2005, undated is 0.6 linear feet and consists principally of parish registers containing information on members of the church, i.e., their baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, donations and attendance. Also present in the series is a typed remembrance of St. Mark's (1902 to 1918) from Nell Houston Chisholm- the goddaughter of Alonzo McClennan, a noted African American physician from Charleston. Bound items and obituaries are also part of this series.

Series 4. Church Activities and Affiliations, 1903-2005, undated is 0.71 linear feet and comprised of general correspondence concerning church finances and leadership; printed materials from church anniversaries and celebrations, such as invitations, programs, souvenir journals and hymns. Also contained within the series are church bulletins and newsletters, as well as documents pertaining to the planning and implementation of St. Mark's Every Member Canvass fundraiser in 1974.

Series 5. Legal and Financial Records, 1881-1989, undated is 0.64 linear feet. It includes cash and account books, ledgers, receipts and disbursements records, treasurer reports, church offering records, lists of contributors, correspondence from the church's finance committee, plus investment reviews and meeting minutes. Also included in the series are insurance policy documents from the Church Insurance Company and Church Agency Corporation.

Series 6. Property Records, 1974-1986, undated is 0.4 linear feet and consists primarily of materials relating to building repairs for the exterior rehabilitation and stabilization of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The project was funded by the Fiscal Year 1983 Emergency Jobs Act Historic Preservation Grant and a Department of Interior Historic Preservation matching grant from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The series includes cost estimates for building repair and renovation; bids for repair work from local Charleston contractors; floor plan proposals; invoices, bills and receipts for work completed; copies of checks including one from renowned Charleston blacksmith, Phillip Simmons who assisted with repairs to St. Mark's fence and gate; and correspondence from Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr. of H.A. De Costa Company: General Contractors, who served as project director for St. Mark's renovations. Other items in the series include correspondence to St. Mark's Treasurer, Henry P. Hutchison concerning tax exemption claims for the church and property committee meeting minutes.

Series 7. Photographic Material, 1865-1990, undated is 0.02 linear feet. It includes cash and account books, ledgers, receipts and disbursements records, treasurer reports, church offering records, lists of contributors, correspondence from the church's finance committee, plus investment reviews and meeting minutes. Also included in the series are building fund pledges and insurance policy documents from the Church Insurance Company and Church Agency Corporation.

Series 8. Miscellaneous 1877-1977, undated is 0.1 linear feet and consists of printed material and literary productions relating to Charleston County, and the dedication and consecration of churches. Also part of this series is microfiche, ephemera and notes from educator and congregation member, Dr. Eugene C. Hunt, which mention St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Collection Arrangement 1. Institutional History, 1862-1988, undated

2. Administrative, 1865-1991, undated

3. Membership Records, 1864-2005, undated

4. Church Activities and Affiliations, 1903-2005, undated

5. Legal and Financial Records, 1881-1989, undated

6. Property Records, 1974-1986, undated

7. Photographic Material, 1865-1990, undated

8. Miscellaneous, 1877-1977, undated

Dates

  • 1862-2006

Creator

Language of Materials

Material in English

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Historical Note

St. Mark's Episcopal Church was organized as an independent parish in 1865 by a group of prominent black Episcopalians who were without a place to worship- since most of the white Episcopalian churches were evacuated in Charleston as a result of the city's occupation by Union Forces. The church's first service was held on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1865. Immediately after the service an organizational meeting was held and the following were elected to manage the affairs of the congregation: S. L. Bennett, Chairman; J. N. Gregg. Secretary; R.E. DeReef, Treasurer; as well as B.K. Kinloch, J. Wheaton, R Holloway, S. O'Hear, J. B. Mushington, and Lydia Frost. Based on an Act of the Legislature passed in February of 1863, the Vestry and Wardens of St. Mark's applied for incorporation as a legal entity with the Rights, Power and Privileges of a Congregation according to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State. This charter was duly registered in Charleston on October 24, 1866. In 1870 a lot at the corner of Warren and Thomas Streets in historic Radcliffeboro was purchased in the sum of about $5,000 for the erection of a permanent church building. The congregation accepted a temple form design by Louis J. Barbot, which had been used by seven other churches in Charleston. However, St. Mark's may have been one of the last of that style built in America-and was the only one in the city of Charleston built of wood. The cornerstone of the building was laid on October 26, 1875, and the completed structure was consecrated on November 8, 1878. St. Mark's was served by a number of eminent priests during its first years; not the least of whom was Rev. A. Toomer Porter, founder of the Porter Military Academy and the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston. By the end of the 19th century, St. Mark's had the second highest membership and ranked fifth in its diocese for monetary contributions.

St. Mark's early membership included leaders and families from the community; business and professional persons; and skilled artisans who contributed to the building of the city of Charleston. Other members have included the owner of one of the largest wholesale and retail seafood businesses in Charleston; photography studio owner, Walter N. Boags; Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr. (1923-2008), renowned African American architect and contractor; numerous educational leaders including a principal of Avery Institute, Florence A. Clyde; the first black faculty members of the College of Charleston and the Baptist College, such as Dr. Eugene C. Hunt; as well as officers and participants of organizations like the N.A.A.C.P.

Extent

3.48 linear feet (10 archival boxes)

Abstract

St. Mark's Episcopal Church was organized as an independent parish in 1865 by a group of prominent black Episcopalians who were without a place to worship- since most of the white Episcopalian churches were evacuated in Charleston as a result of the city's occupation by Union Forces. The church's first service was held on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1865. The congregation continued to grow and in 1870 a lot at the corner of Warren and Thomas Streets in historic Radcliffeboro was purchased for the erection of a permanent church building, which was designed by architect, Louis J. Barbot. The cornerstone of the building was laid on October 26, 1877, and the completed structure was consecrated on November 8, 1878. St. Mark's early membership included leaders and families from the community, business and professional persons, and skilled artisans who contributed to the building of the city. The collection contains materials relating to the establishment, development and operation of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church; including administrative records such as a register of church services, meeting minutes and proceedings, and a Sunday school roll book; financial records that include account books, ledgers and treasurer reports; and items documenting church membership, such as parish registers. Also present in the collection are materials relating to the acquisition and maintenance of the church. The St. Mark's Episcopal Church Records date from 1862 - 2005, with bulk dates spanning the years 1965 - 1984.

Collection Arrangement

1. Institutional History, 1862-1988, undated

2. Administrative, 1865-1991, undated

3. Membership Records, 1864-2005, undated

4. Church Activities and Affiliations, 1903-2005, undated

5. Legal and Financial Records, 1881-1989, undated

6. Property Records, 1974-1986, undated

7. Photographic Material, 1865-1990, undated

8. Miscellaneous, 1877-1977, undated

Related Material

Avery Photograph Collection, circa 1890s - 2008 (AMN 1112)

Craft and Crum Families, 1780 - 2007 (AMN 1102)

DeCosta Seabrooke Family Collection, 1879-1994 (1101)

H. A. DeCosta, Jr. Papers (AMN 1084)

Walter N. Boags Papers, 1945 - 1980s (AMN 1053)

Bibliography

St. Mark's Episcopal Church "A Brief History of St. Mark's Episcopal Church." Accessed January 23, 2013. http://www.saintmarkschurch.com/2501.html.
Sources consulted by Ardra Whitney

  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church "A Brief History of St. Mark's Episcopal Church." Accessed January 23, 2013. http://www.saintmarkschurch.com/2501.html.

Processing Information

Processed by Ardra Whitney, 12, 2012

Encoded by Ardra Whitney, 1, 2012

Title
Inventory of the St.Mark's Episcopal Church Records, 1862 - 2006
Author
Processed by: Ardra Whitney; machine-readable finding aid created by: Ardra Whitney
Date
© 2013
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608