This building could be a church, but this is similar schoolhouse design frequently seen throughout North Carolina.
Originally known as Baptist Church of Christ on Blounts Creek, this congregation started on May 28, 1808. The church has not been in use since the 1980s.
My assumption is that this church started out as your traditional center gable and tower seen in many rural areas. Later the church wrapped it in brick and added mid-century modern stained glass windows.
There are many articles who do a much better job explaining the importance of the United States Colored Infantry and who made up the troops. The troops were made up freed men from the North and South. For Southern ones, many volunteered to fight after a Southern city was under control of Union troops. They played an important role in defeating the Confederacy.
Drayton Cemetery, Hilton Head Island
Talbird Cemetery, Hilton Head Island
San Sebastian Cemetery, Saint Augustine
The congregation started in 1863 as a praise house called “Baptist Church Colored.” The Gothic Revival church was constructed in 1865 by local freedmen. It is a contributing property to the Beaufort Historic District.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, here is info from the application which gives a good history of this praise house and the overall purpose of praise houses.
“The Mary Jenkins Community Praise House, built ca. 1900, is one of four known extant praise houses on St. Helena Island [one has since been removed – today there are only three praise houses on St. Helena Island]. Praise houses were first established on St. Helena plantations in the antebellum period, as slaves used small frame houses or other buildings as places to meet and worship. After they became freedmen, they built praise houses on or near the old plantation, in most instances calling their community by the name of the former plantation or plantation owner. Although the extant praise houses date from ca. 1900, their function has persisted since before emancipation and the basic architectural form has been retained. Since there were, and are, few formal church buildings on St. Helena, most islanders could only walk or ride to the main church on Sunday morning. For other community meetings or services, praise houses were built in each of the communities created by the former plantations, and services were held on Sunday, Tuesday, And Thursday nights, as well as the Watch Night Service each New Year’s. A typical service might consist of singing, prayer, perhaps a member’s testimony of a religious experience, and almost always ending with a “shout.” Kit Chaplin built this praise house ca. 1900; Paris Capers, born in 1863, was one of the early elders. Members of Ebenezer Baptist Church still attend services here today; a cow bell, which is still in the praise house, has been rung for many years to alert the members to a service or meeting.”