Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

National Register Listing
Street Address:
110 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC (Charleston County)
Alternate Name:
Mother Emanuel

NRHP Nomination


Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is a Gothic Revival building designed by John Henry Devereux. The congregation of Emanuel AME dates to 1816, though the construction of the current sanctuary did not begin until 1891. Though work was completed in 1892, the building was badly damaged by a cyclone the next year and work on the building did not resume until 1901. Built in brick, the three-story building was stuccoed over between 1949 and 1951. After its completion in 1901, the church became a center of African American life in Charleston, attracting national figures who spoke before mass meetings and public gatherings. In the 1960s, the church became a key staging ground for civil rights activity, bringing it to national prominence. Emanuel served as a prominent organizing and meeting venue as the Charleston Movement pushed back against segregation in the city, led in part by Emanuel’s minister Reverend B.J. Glover. Movement activities originating in the church resonated outward into the streets of Charleston, bringing about lasting change in the city and underscoring South Carolina’s central role in the national Civil Rights Movement. This involvement in civil rights activity continued through the Hospital Workers’ Strike of 1969, when Coretta Scott King spoke at the church in support of the striking workers. The church’s place within the community, as an institution that was controlled entirely by African Americans, allowed it to play a vital role in the struggle for civil rights in Charleston. Listed in the National Register October 25, 2018.
Period of Significance:
1951 – 1969
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Ethnic Heritage: Black
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
October 25 2018