Inventory of the Margaretta P. Childs African-American Church Records Project, 1849 - 1985

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Margaretta Pringle Childs (1912-2000) worked as an archivist at the College of Charleston, was head archivist for the City of Charleston, and a field archivist for the South Carolina Historical Society. In addition to her archival work, Childs was a member of the Charleston Interracial Committee and a Civil Rights activist.
The materials in this collection form the working files of Margretta P. Childs's attempted project to collect and house the records of Charleston's black churches at the South Carolina Historical Society. The collection contains mostly photocopied correspondence from Childs to various ministers regarding church records and brief histories of some of the churches. Also included are photocopies of many Work Projects Administration (WPA) church surveys (1936) for the Charleston area, which include address, building description, listings of any known records and erection dates for each church, as well as programs of yearly meetings and church services. Of note is a photocopied letter (1908) from Arthur L. MacBeth and a musical program (1940) from the Centenary (Church) Players.
Title: Margaretta P. Childs African-American Church Records Project, 1849 - 1985
Creator: Childs, Margaretta P.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1013
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: .5 linear feet
(1 archival box)

Biographical Note

Margaretta Pringle Childs (1912-2000) worked as archivist at the College of Charleston, was head archivist for the City of Charleston, and a field archivist for the South Carolina Historical Society. In addition to her archival work, Childs was a member of the Charleston Interracial Committee and a Civil Rights activist.


Collection Overview

The materials in this collection form the working files of Margretta P. Childs's attempted project to collect and house the records of Charleston's black churches at the South Carolina Historical Society. The collection contains mostly photocopied correspondence from Childs to various ministers regarding church records and brief histories of some of the churches. Also included are photocopies of many Work Projects Administration (WPA) church surveys (1936) for the Charleston area, which include address, building description, listings of any known records and erection dates for each church, as well as programs of yearly meetings and church services. Of note is a photocopied letter (1908) from Arthur L. MacBeth and a musical program (1940) from the Centenary (Church) Players.

Collection Arrangement

1. Administrative Files

2. Church Files

3. Miscellaneous



Subject Headings

  • African American churches -- Records and correspondence.
  • Archives -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Archivists -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Childs, Margaretta Pringle, 1912-2000.
  • Church archives -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • MacBeth, Arthur L.
  • Morris Street Baptist Church (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church (Charleston, S.C.)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Charleston Branch (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Police brutaliy -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • South Carolina Historical Society.
  • Stoney, Samuel Gaillard, b. 1891.
  • Zion-Olivet United Presbyterian Church (Charleston, S.C.)


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Administrative Files, undated.

Box 1   Folder 1
Materials regarding Childs's project to collect and microfilm Charleston, South Carolina black church records for the South Carolina Historical Society.

2. Church Files, 1849-1985.

Box 1   Folder 2
WPA Church Surveys, 1936
Information for Charleston area black churches includes address, building description, listings of any known records and erection dates for each church.
Box 1   Folder 3
Calvary Episcopal Church, 1849
Photocopies of correspondence regarding church and Civil Rights records, as well as newspaper clippings regarding Calvary. Photocopy of an 1849 letter of consecration for the church.
Box 1   Folder 4
Centenary United Methodist Episcopal Church, 1908-1940.
Programs for centennial, 115th, 123rd and 126th anniversaries. Photocopy of letter from Arthur L. MacBeth regarding his resignation as a trustee. Program of the Centenary Players, "Aunt Minnie from Minnesota."
Box 1   Folder 5
Central and Morris Street Baptist Church, 1865
Photocopies of minutes and photograph of Morris Street church. Photocopies of newspaper clippings of both Morris and Central Baptist churches.
Box 1   Folder 6
Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, 1917
Photocopied clipping from "Charleston Illustrated" concerning Mt. Zion. Photocopy of a brief history of Mt. Zion by Reverand N. B. Sterret.
Box 1   Folder 7
Old Bethel United Methodist Churhc, 1983
Newspaper clipping regarding Reverend Frank Portee.
Box 1   Folder 8
Plymouth Congregational Church, 1942-1958
Includes dedication program, newsletter, membership pamphlet, annual meeting programs, and Church service program. Letter to church members regarding lack of contributions. Reports of various committees.
Box 1   Folder 9
St. John's (John's Island) and Grace Chapel (Rockville) Church, 1856
Photocopy of a letter from Reverend C.H. Hall resigning from St.John's and a clipping regarding Grace Chapel, Rockville.
Box 1   Folder 10
St. John's and St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 1930-1986
Photocopy of article on the Reformed Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Program of St. Mark's church service. Photocopied article regarding St. Mark's and the "color line among colored people." Photocopied title page, "Work Among the Colored People," and photocopied letter regarding the history of St. John Episcopal Church.
Box 1   Folder 11
Zion-Olivet United Presbyterian Church, Circa 1900-1985
Includes installation invitation and program, photocopy of program for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Lincoln-Douglass Memorial meeting, a copy of a photograph of Reverend Frierson and family, and a photocopy of a short history of the church.
Box 1   Folder 12
East-Side Churches
Information concerning various churches on Charleston's East Side. Also various materials regarding city planning and the East Side.
Box 1   Folder 13
Presbyterian Churches, 1966-1984
Regarding Edisto Island, John's Island, Hebron, Promised Land, St. James, Wallingford and Moving Star Hall. Photocopies of photographs of Edisto Island Presbyterian, Promised Land, Hebron, John's Island Presbyterian and Moving Star Hall. Docket for spring meeting of the Presbyterian of the Atlantic. Photocopy of a brief historical sketch of the Presbyterian church among southern blacks.

3. Correspondence, 1941-1984.

Box 1   Folder 14
Correspondence, 1984
With the Presbyterian Library in Montreat, North Carolina concerning Charleston black church records.
Box 1   Folder 15
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Concerning the set up of black church records at the South Carolina Historical Society. Photocopy of a letter by Samuel Gaillard Stoney regarding alleged police brutality against a black woman at St. James Goose Creek church.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Margaretta P. Childs African-American Church Records Project, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Lance Brodrero, March 2006

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010

Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection.

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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