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First African Baptist Church

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood: Downtown
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Address: 23 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401-2429
Phone Number:
+1 912-233-6597
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: Yes
Description:

First African Baptist Church was organized in 1773 under the leadership of...

First African Baptist Church was organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile and established and constituted in December of 1777 as a body organized believers. Under the leadership of the 3rd Pastor Reverend Andrew C. Marshall, the congregation obtained the property where the present sanctuary stands. Marshall also organized the first black Sunday school in North America and changed the name of the church from “First Colored Baptist” to “First African Baptist”. The sanctuary was completed in 1859 under the direction of the 4th Pastor Reverend William J. Campbell. The ceiling of the church is in the design of a “Nine Patch Quilt” which represented that the church was a safe house for slaves. Beneath the lower auditorium floor is another finished sub floor which is known as the “Underground Railroad”. There is 4ft of height between both floors. The holes in the floor are in the shape of an African prayer symbol known as a Congolese Cosmogram that served a purpose of ventilation. First African Baptist Church has been a place of leadership and service since its inception. Reverend Emmanuel King Love, 6th Pastor, led the movement to establish Savannah State University, formerly known as Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth. Rev. Love also played a big role in the establishment of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and Paine College in Augusta, GA. During the time of segregation the church served as the largest gathering place for blacks and whites to meet. Visitors from all walks of life have visited out sanctuary and left inspired. TOUR RATES: Adults = $7.00; Seniors = $6.00; Students = $6.00; Children Ages 5 & Under = FREE. TOUR HOURS OF OPERATION: Tuesday - Saturday = 11:00 a.m. & 2:00p.m. Sunday = 1:00p.m.

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US$ 40.59*
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Savannah Black History Tour
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The start of freedom for the slaves

The Starting point of the slaves underground railroad. It was the first Afro -American religious congregation in the South.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Sobreviviente
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Miami, Florida
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623 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 614: English reviews
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The Starting point of the slaves underground railroad. It was the first Afro -American religious congregation in the South.

Helpful?
Thank Sobreviviente
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We didn't get to go inside, but it's worth seeing and learning about this, this oldest black church in America. A tour guide (Footprints of Savannah, reviewed separately) gave us the history. It's interesting to note that this was the church for slaves, the Second African Baptist Church, across town, was for the free blacks. Fascinating, and interwoven with the... More 

Helpful?
Thank ZeeVenturer
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The history of this church is astonishing. Established in 1773, built from 1855-9 by slaves. It's still a thriving church. Our tour guide, Joe, was a humorous guide. The church was built by slaves and was a stop on the underground railroad. This is a not to be missed stop for any American history buff.

Helpful?
Thank Mardi_JF
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were made very welcome when we attended the birthday celebrations.The service lasted for two hours and there were guest vocalists who had amazing voices and sang from their hearts.

Helpful?
Thank Julia B
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
126 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016

It was interesting to learn about the church and the roll it played in the city of Savannah and it's slave history. The church is is subdued compared to many others we've visited. The guide had many stories and congregation appeared to spend their money helping others rather than on statues.

Helpful?
Thank Louise100_10
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2016

Super interesting tour- learned a ton about history of this church and Savannah in general. Great way to spend $7.

Helpful?
Thank yanquiloca
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2016

It was a beautiful church, the stained glass pictures of the african american civil rights leaders was beautiful. It was something to be walking right above the underground railroad!

Helpful?
Thank 822bostonstrong
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2016

At the oldest black Baptist church in North America, our group was greeted with such hospitality. And the embracing mood continued through all the prayers, hymns and sermon. Definitely worth the two-three hours on a Sunday morning. Tours of the church are available during the week.

Helpful?
Thank jetjersey
Kansas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2016

Wow! What a privilege to see this beautiful church built by so many hands. Our guide was awesome and so very knowledgable. Definately should be your short list of places to visit on Savannah.

Helpful?
Thank Bomaxho
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016

Our tour guide, Joe, was excellent, super conversational, and was only on his third week as tour guide. He really made this one of the best and most informative and interesting guided tours of my 4 days in the city. Hope to come back when they've finished stripping the stucco off the brick exterior. Should look great.

Helpful?
Thank sambwe

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