St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church and Churchyard

About 1834 Charles and Susan Baring built a family chapel on their land in Flat Rock. The first chapel burned and a second chapel was built of bricks. In 1836 they gave the chapel to the Episcopal diocese.
The church was used in the summer months by the people from the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia who stayed in Flat Rock during the summers.
In 1852, the length of the church was doubled.
During the Civil War many of the families stayed year-round on their estates in Flat Rock. It is likely that the church was opened year-round during those years. But officially the church did not open on a year-round basis until 1961. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The cemetery contains the grave sites of many notable persons in the history of South Carolina. There is also a slave section at the cemetery.
The graves of Charles and Susan Baring are underneath the church.
Many descendants of the Mitchell King family have graves in the cemetery.
The grave site of Louise Howe Bailey, a descendant of Mitchell King, is located at the church cemetery. Bailey, a Flat Rock historian, wrote several books and stories on the people of Henderson County.

Louise Howe Bailey

The grave of Frank FitzSimons Sr. who wrote the three-volume set of books “From the Banks of the Oklawaha” is also located in the cemetery.

Frank Lockwood FitzSimons Sr.

Other notable persons buried in the cemetery include Andrew Johnstone who was murdered by bushwhackers at his estate in Flat Rock during the Civil War, Christopher Gustavus Memminger who served as Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States of America, Henry Middleton Rutledge and his father Edward Rutledge, Edward Trenholm, Charles de Choiseul and his mother and sisters, Theodore G. Barker, members of the Farmer family who began the Farmer’s Inn (Woodfield Inn), Rev. John Drayton and members of the Drayton family, and members of the Elliott, Lowndes, Middleton and other historic South Carolina families.
There is a memorial stone for Charles Purcell Cecil who died while serving in the Navy during World War II. He was a rear admiral and received the Navy Cross, Gold Star and Bronze Star. He was killed July 31, 1944, in the crash of a Navy transport plane while taking off from an island in the Pacific. His gravestone is at Arlington National Cemetery. He lived in Charleston, S.C., and had a summer home in Flat Rock. The USS Charles P. Cecil (DD-835) was named after him.