169 North Congress Street
City Directories and History: 1961 – First Methodist Church
First organized in Winnsboro 1808. Organized in the home of Captain and Mrs. John (Sarah) Buchanan (known as the Cornwallis House on Zion Street.) The county court house was used for services in the early years. In 1810 the first sanctuary was built on lot #115 of the 1785 town plat at the corner of West Washington and Walnut Streets with Reverend James Jenkins as its first preacher. It was the first Methodist Church constructed of brick in SC. At this site is the original and current cemetery for the church. Additional lots had been purchased.
In 1874 a wooden sanctuary was constructed next to the old one which was then dismantled. This structure served until the current sanctuary was constructed in 1808. It is interesting that the 1874 structure was given to Mount Zion Institute and moved to its campus and used as classrooms until about 1950 when it was dismantled. Of interest is the fact that the ladies association wrote Andrew Carnegie in 1908 and asked his financial aid in procuring a pipe organ. He replied, contributing half the cost of the Estey instrument ($750) which served the church until the present Klegg organ was built in 2002.
The Rock Hill Record reported on March 22, 1909 – “Ladies of the Methodist CHurch of Winnsboro, through Mrs. T.M. Jordan, organist, have induced Andrew Carnegie the philanthropist to pay for half of the pipe organ for the new church. The organ they desire will cost almost $1,500. and about $250. has already been raised by them.”
Jumping across the street on your tour of of North Congress block is the handsome First Methodist Church constructed as the third sanctuary for that congregation in 1908. The previous sanctuary was located in the church cemetery a block and a half east of the town clock on East Washington Street. This building may have been the first church sanctuary built in the town around 1808. [Last paragraph provided by J.M. Lyles]
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