During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Berkeley County’s planters, wishing to avoid the summer months’ fevers associated with their low-lying plantation lands, established highland settlements, particularly in pineland woods. In 1810, a neat rectangular one-story wooden church was erected in the northern Berkeley County village of Pineville. St. Stephen Parish was later to become northern Berkeley County, and the church officially became the Chapel of Ease for St. Stephen in 1845.
A beautifully simple building, the interior retains its historic altar, pews, pulpit and nine over nine light windows, including those located at the second and third levels of the bell tower’s west elevation. The ceiling is coved with a small balcony at the rear of the sanctuary that is supported by four paneled posts with sunbursts carved in the Federal style. Located behind the altar, a Federal style carved Palladian window is backlit by windows in the apse. The pulpit itself is delicately carved with round arched panels and a corbelled, oriel-type front. A unique decorative feature opposite the bell tower of Pineville Chapel is a carving of a fish, one of the first symbols of the Christian church. The Chapel exhibits simple, yet refined, architectural details, and has seen very little alteration since its construction.
The Pineville Chapel is one of only two early nineteenth century frame country churches surviving in Berkeley County. Most of Pineville was destroyed by Union troops in April 1865.
The Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places, located in the Pineville Historic District of northern Berkeley County near the intersection of State Road 204 and Highway 45.
Church services are held twice annually, Spring and Fall, normally the Sunday the time changes. Special services, weddings, and choral concerts are held periodically, and may be scheduled with St. Stephen Episcopal Church.