The First Presbyterian Church organized a Sabbath School for African-Americans in 1838, which led to the establishment of a separate congregation for African-American members. The Sunday school built for this congregation on Sumter Street was burned by Union troops in 1865. During Reconstruction, Ladson's members became affiliated with Northern Presbyterian and hired their first African-American minister, Mack Johnson, a former slave and a graduate of Howard University, in 1876. Johnson served as pastor until his death in 1921. It is the oldest black congregation in Columbia.
The present church was built in 1896 and is a fine example of Romanesque Revival architecture. It features brick construction with two bell tower entrances.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.