41″x 30″ oil on canvas ©2014 C.Hutson Wrenn
This painting was commissioned by Rick Parler of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose family is from Barnwell, South Carolina.
Located north of Beaufort, South Carolina, just off Hwy 17 at Hwy 21, Sheldon Church has lain in ruin for more than 120 years. Its gable roof, pediment, windows, and interior have disappeared, but the classic simplicity of its design still remains. One of the first Greek-Revival structures built in the United States, Prince William’s Parish Church, erected 1745-55, was once one of the most impressive churches in the Province. During the Revolution, the Patriots are believed to have stored gun powder in it. In 1779, when the British General Augustine Prevost invaded the Lowcountry, the church was burned by a detachment which according to tradition, was commanded by the flamboyant local Tory, Andrew Deveaux. Rebuilt in 1826, the church was again burned by Sherman’s men in 1865.
Its beauty remains evocative. It was my privilege to paint it.