A Walk Through Old Sheldon Church

By, Minta Pavliscsak

It was threatening rain off and on all day so typical lay on the beach all day plans were out. So we decided on a road trip to finally go check out the Old Sheldon Church Ruins. We picked up a bag of guacamole chips and a ZZ Ward CD, and we were on our way.

If you head south on 17, just before you hit I-95, you will find Old Sheldon Church.

The church was built between 1745-1755 and was partially burned in 1779 by the British during the Revolutionary War. It was rebuilt in 1826 only to be burned again by General Sherman during his march from in 1865.

Since Sherman’s march, letters have surfaced stating that the church actually did not burn. The letter, written by?Miton Leverett in 1866, explained that the inside was merely torn up beyond repair. Supposedly the materials were used to repair other places that were affected by Sherman’s torch.?

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Now only the brick infrastructure remains, along with a few columns towering around it, the front four still commanding your initial attention as you walk up to the church site. These columns are said to be America’s first attempt at imitating a Greek temple.

As you walk inside the church, there is an altar type stone and the final resting place of Colonel William Bull. Colonel Bull played an integral part in assisting with the development of Savannah’s grid pattern layout.

Lovingly called “Sheldon” after Lt. Gov. William Bull I’s plantation, the church is officially named Prince William’s Parish Church. Lt. Gov. Bull paid for most of Sheldon Church.

Church services are still held here the second Sunday after Easter.