South Carolina Picture Project
 
South Carolina Picture Project

Coffin Point Praise House — St. Helena Island, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Beaufort County  |  Coffin Point Praise House


Adopt A South Carolina Landmark
Coffin Point Praise House

Praise houses – such as the one seen here on St. Helena Island – trace their roots to antebellum days when slaves built simple frame buildings on the plantations where they lived in order to gather for worship. The term “praise house” is thought to come from the phrase “prays house,” or a place where slaves could pray. Music, particularly singing, was an important element of praise house gatherings, and many services ended with a call-and-response round called a “shout.” The small structures – this one measuring just 10 feet by 15 feet – served as much more than just an informal sanctuary, however; people gathered in praise houses for community gatherings and meetings, where it often served as a sort of town hall or courthouse for the slave street and later for the freedmen’s communities. The small size of the praise houses is a tradition dating back to slavery when plantation owners feared that too many slaves gathering together could lead to insurrection.

Coffin Point Praise House

Gazie Nagle of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In fact, praise houses continued to be built after the Civil War, with several erected near the communities that formed after the collapse of nearby plantations following Emancipation. Many of these communities, such as Coffin Point on St. Helena Island, were named after the plantations that once occupied the land. Subsequently, the praise houses took the same names.

Originally built around 1900 and rebuilt following a fire in the 1950s, the Coffin Point Community Praise House differs slightly in construction from other local praise houses in that it has two windows framing the entrance along with three steps leading to the front door. Most of the praise houses were even simpler than this one, with just one step at the entrance and no windows on the facade. Like its neighboring praise houses, Croft Plantation and Mary Jenkins, as well as Moving Star on Johns Island, Coffin Point Praise House is still periodically active. It is maintained by the Coffin Point Community Association.

Coffin Point Praise House Info


Address: 57 Coffin Point Road, St. Helena Island, SC 29920
GPS Coordinates: 32.418575,-80.490817

Coffin Point Praise House Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!


Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!




SC PICTURE PROJECT

Join Us on Facebook
Search for Landmarks

TOWNS & LANDMARKS

Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Alcolu Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Erhardt Eutawville Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Great Falls Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Holly Hill Honea Path Hopkins Hotels & Inns Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Lowndesville Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinewood Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Prosperity Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeland Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Santee Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Sunsets Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Ware Shoals Waterfalls Water Towers Wedgefield West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York