Christ (Episcopal) Church

Greenville’s Oldest Church

The history of Christ Church is deeply tied together with the history of Greenville, South Carolina and remains a symbol of the city’s past.

Christ Church came to be largely as a result of Vardry McBee, known as the “Father of Greenville,” a businessman who created downtown Greenville when he built a number of mills and business in the city. McBee gave land for the creation of the first Christ Church, Greenville’s first church, in 1825. After its construction, the group changed its name from St. James Mission Church to Christ Church Parish.

The church that stands today was built to replace the smaller one in 1854 after the congregation outgrew the old church. The second church was designed by Joel Poinsett, the United States’ ambassador to Mexico and is known for bringing the poinsettia flower to the region. The new church was built in the shape of a cross and featured a gothic style with a large spire and a great amount of stained glass.

The church is still used to this day and has undergone various refurbishments and has added a school. Many important Greenville historical figures are buried in the church’s cemetery. Most notably are Vardry McBee and Governor Benjamin Franklin Perry.