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“A must see!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church
23 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401 (Downtown)
+1 912-233-6597
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Visit First African Baptist Church like an insider
$40*
and up
Ranked #10 of 204 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Sarasota, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A must see!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

What an amazing history this church has -- from its founding, to the way the people contributed to the building of the current structure, to its role in the underground railroad. Inspiring and moving. Johnnie was an incredibly knowledgeable and informative guide -- he provided context and depth to all the facts. Our very large group of youth toured the church with him and he had them completely focused and involved. It was a highlight of our trip to see this church. I'm looking forward to returning!

Visited June 2013
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384 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Waycross, Georgia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“History Came to Life”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

This church is one of the oldest in Georgia and was used to help hide runaway slaves. The interior is beautiful and the guide was so knowledgeable about the history of the church.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
2 reviews
“Fascinating...one of the most memorable attractions during our 5 days in Savannah.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

The young man presenting the tour was interesting and informative. We are history buffs yet learned new things while on this wonderful tour!

Visited June 2013
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Port orange
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Awe Inspiring History!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

This quick little tour of the church was the highlight of my Savannah trip. We stumbled upon it from a local TV station, and boy am I glad we did! Our guide's enthusiasm was contagious, as you could tell he loved his church. He did a great job explaining the historical significance of the church, and answering as many questions as he could. Then there is the church itself. I had goosebumps to be immersed in such an amazing historical building. The facts about the Underground Railroad were amazing, and I can't wait to take my family there to see it for themselves. Highly recommended!

Visited June 2013
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1 review
“A history teacher's dream!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

My husband and I toured the FABC and we loved it! The tour began promptly at 11 am and lasted about 45 minutes. Our tour guide was a very knowledgeable, charismatic young man who not only shared the church's history for us, but relayed spirituality, concern, and a clear attachment to his church. The ladies working downstairs were very friendly and welcoming (one has to remember that this is a functioning church, not just a piece of history or museum, so expect that parishioners will be there if/when you go). Overall the tour was well-worth the $7 and, if you're a history teacher like me, the information, setting,and overall experience will transfer into your classroom.

Visited June 2013
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