Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Laurens SC

This picture set features the disused Bethel AME Church in Laurens SC.  Organized in 1868, two AME bishops have come from this congregation.  Located at 234 Caroline Street, this Romanesque Revival church was built in 1910 by Columbus White, 1857-1945. Two structures he designed and built in the City of Laurens, Bethel AME Church and the Brown-Franklin Building, are still standing and are on the National Register of Historic Places. </p>

The stain glass windows were imported for the building.  Many still remain though some have been lost to unknown elements.  The building also has a basement that was used for offices, Sunday School, meeting and kitchen.  I've researched the congregation on the internet and found nothing to explain why the building is not longer used.  A dedication on the outside sign bears the date 1980.  I suspect that the cost of maintaining and repairing the building caused it to be abandoned in the early 1990s.  The building is included in the Laurens Historic District.  What is the fate of this once proud building?  The odds are not good...

All 142 pictures of the Bethel AME Church are in this flickr picture set.

Inside Kudzu Covered Windows
Good view of roof looking toward the pulpit and choir areas

Click on an image to see the larger picture...

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Front of Bethel AME Church Front of Bethel AME Church Kudzu Covered Side of  building.
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Inside, on kudzu side of building Kudzu is seen through window Right, Front of Church
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One of many beautiful stain glass windows Compromised building above the choir Ceiling trim has fallen in front of the choir chairs
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The last hymns The choir has left Looking toward the pulpit
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Looking toward the pulpit Original Trustees Large stain glass window on right side of building
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Church organ Ornate Roof Kudzu awaits outside
Tags: church

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