The Unitarian Church in Charleston c. 1772
In 1772, the Society of Dissenters, known today as the Circular Congregational Church, was experiencing growing pains. Their congregation needed more room than the Meeting Street location could accommodate, so they decided to expand with a second building on Archdale Street. Construction of the new church was nearly complete when the Revolutionary War broke out in 1776 and for the next 30 years, the Meeting Street and Archdale Street churches acted as one entity, sharing not only the same two ministers, but also the same sermon each Sunday. In 1817, one of those ministers, Anthony Forster, and several church members became Unitarians. More than half the congregation, 75 members, left Meeting Street and moved to Archdale, founding the Second Independent Church in Charleston. The Unitarian Church is the second oldest church on the city peninsula and the English Perpendicular Gothic Revival style building is designated a National Historic Landmark. During its two and a quarter century history, it has survived wars, earthquakes, fires and hurricanes.