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By the mid-19th century, the Anglican Church in South Carolina had evolved into a strong Episcopal Diocese. By 1846, with four Episcopal churches in the city, the growth of the population and strong religious fervor led to the founding of Grace Church, which was admitted to the Diocese of South Carolina Feb. 16, 1846. In 1848, the church was consecrated by Bishop Christopher Edward Gadsden. Though damaged during the Civil War, Grace remained open until January 1864. A single shell destroyed part of the clerestory and the vestry was forced to suspend services. The church was reopened in March of 1865. The earthquake of 1886 damaged the church almost beyond repair. Visitors today can still see visible scars.