South Carolina Picture Project
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St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church — Lexington, South Carolina

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St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Lexington dates to 1830, the same year the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary was founded by the Reverend Richard Bachman in Pomaria. In 1834 the seminary moved to Lexington and was housed in Corley Hall Plantation. Seminary students likely attended church at St. Stephen’s – at the time a simple building, though it did boast a gallery. St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church was the first church established in the community as well as the first building in town to have a gallery. The church was burned by Union troops during the Civil War.

St. Stephen's Lutheran

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1870 the church was rebuilt on the same site as the first church. Sadly, it burned in an 1897 fire along with other nearby buildings. At the time of the fire, a new church was in the process of being built across the street from the location of the first and second churches. While the congregation was fortunate to have begun construction, the third church was nowhere near completion. The congregation did not begin worshiping in this sanctuary – a stone building – until 1900. The third church was replaced with the present edifice, also of stone, in 1957.

St. Stephen's Interior

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Though the Lutheran seminary returned to Newberry County and became Newberry College, Lutheranism continued to thrive in Lexington. When the college and the seminary separated in 1898, the seminary moved to the Darby Building in Mt. Pleasant in 1903 and then back to Lexington in 1911, where it remains today.

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church Info

Address: 119 North Church Street, Lexington, SC 29072
GPS Coordinates: 33.983259,-81.237225

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church Map

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