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Historical markers could memorialize Black Catholic Church and school in Orangeburg

Built in the 1940's, the Christ the King Church and school were a religious haven for the Black Catholic community in Orangeburg.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — One activist in Orangeburg is working to make sure two buildings with ties to the black Catholic community in Orangeburg are not forgotten. These buildings are the Christ the King Church and the Christ the King School.

“I was not just a member of the church and school but I was integrated into the fabric of Christ the King. Or the fabric was integrated into me," said president of the Sulton Center James Sulton.

That's how Sulton recalls his days going to the Christ the King Church and Christ the King School in Orangeburg. Built in the 1940's, the establishment was a religious haven for the black Catholic community.

Although the physical buildings are long gone, Sulton wants people to remember their impact.

“We are looking in this day and time to at least place some historical memorial markers on the sites of the former church and the former school so that future generations do not trace through Orangeburg and not have any idea that Christ The King ever existed," said Sulton.

He says over the years, Christ the King served hundreds of black parishioners and students in Orangeburg through its church and school. It closed in the mid 1960's due to lack of resources and later merged with Holy Trinity, a predominantly white Catholic Church.

“We are under the onslaught of the attack on history that’s going on across the country right now and it’s particularly geared toward eradicating black history. We at least do this little bit to make sure Christ the King is not eradicated from the history books," said Sulton.

Sulton hopes to place the two historical markers in March. One on Treadwell Street, where the former Christ the King church was located and the second on Amelia Street where the Christ the King school grounds were. Currently the grounds of the former Christ the King School are owned by the Trinity United Methodist Church.

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