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First African Baptist Church

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Address: 23 Montgomery St, Savannah, GA 31401-2429
Phone Number: +1 912-233-6597
Website
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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$41*
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Savannah Black History Tour
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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A must-see in Savannah

Though this city is lovely, it is so important to appreciate the fact that it was built and functioned in its Golden Era entirely on the backs of enslaved African Americans. This... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed today
dspreis
,
Connecticut
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574 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 565: English reviews
Connecticut
Level Contributor
69 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed today NEW

Though this city is lovely, it is so important to appreciate the fact that it was built and functioned in its Golden Era entirely on the backs of enslaved African Americans. This church has great significance as the longest continuously running African American church in North America - and a stop on the Underground Railroad; it is sobering to see... More 

Helpful?
Thank dspreis
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a must people! The tour was very educational and interesting! Beautiful church with lots of history - a must do!

Helpful?
Thank A4691VArobinh
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Awesome! Open armed welcome. Family reunion members fellowshipped here and it was very uplifting. Has elevator for the handicap.

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Thank Verbena R
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We enjoyed this tour which touched on the power of faith and building this church while being a slave in the 1800s. The church was also a safe place for the Underground railroad. Be sure to read the discipline records that were recorded in the lower level.

Helpful?
Thank Cindy D
saint john
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Our tour guide was wonderful, she had great personality and shared many fascinating stories about the history of this active church.

Helpful?
Thank ele837
Oregon
Level Contributor
57 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is the first African American church built by slaves at night. They do not allow photos inside the church. Went on the tour and the vivacious young parishioner described the dedication of these amazing slaves. Saw the holes drilled n the floor of the basement where runway slaves would hide. A very moving experience.

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Thank Wendy G
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great history lessons for all. Beautiful church with rich history. Excellent tour guides. Worth every penny of the small tour fee.

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Thank DLH74
Somerset, Kentucky
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We joined this friendly and welcoming congregation for Sunday morning worship. The soloist and choir were inspirational. The message was thought provoking. If you are looking for a spirit-filled worship service this is the church for you.

Helpful?
Thank Kimerris
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

History is everywhere here, the tour is very moving and informative; a moving history of slavery and the strength of a people to move out of oppression.

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Thank CarmelRey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

One of the best tours ever. So much valuable history that you can really see! Presentation was delightful and full of grace. We really enjoyed the whole experience immensely. The preservation of this landmark is amazing.

Helpful?
Thank Marie S

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