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A Traditional Cultural Property Evaluation for Three Church Properties within the Hilton Head Island Airport Improvements Study Area

St. James Baptist Church

Brockington Historian Ben Roberts completed an evaluation of three churches on Hilton Head Island for significance as Traditional Cultural Properties, a subset of National Register properties for the FAA. Roberts recommended the St. James Baptist Church, the First African Baptist Church, and the Queen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under Criterion A, as Traditional Cultural Properties associated with the practice of the Gullah culture on the Sea Islands of South Carolina.

The S.C. State Dept. of Archives and History (SCDAH) agreed with Brockington’s findings, and suggests that National Register nominations for one or more of these churches be completed.

Many of the members of the congregations are Gullah descendants of the founders of the church, and the churches continue to incorporate the “shout” historically featured in services and other celebrations in their more conventional church services and orders of worship.