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“Interesting but just an average stop”

First African Baptist Church
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Savannah Black History Tour
Ranked #8 of 213 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Level Contributor
115 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Interesting but just an average stop”
Reviewed November 21, 2011

This church is very old and the first African owned building. It was a stop on the "underground railroad" for escaped slaves. The tour itself was given by one of the younger church members. I thought the tour could have encompassed a lot more history but they haven't put that much effort into the tour really. Anyhow,.....It was just "okay">

Visited November 2011
1 Thank tsimmons2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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709 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
68 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“I felt spirits in the Church”
Reviewed November 13, 2011

While on a trolley tour we got off during one of the stops to take some pictures. We were allowed to join a group of individuals who were already being given a tour of the church (for no fee!). As I walked through the church it seemed as if I was touched by the spirits that existed throughout history. The impromptu tour was quite a special treat. It's directly across from a statue of Haitans who fought in the American Revolution.

1 Thank DreaLovesToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
Reviewed November 10, 2011

This church was the 2nd stop on the Underground Railway. It was amazing to hear the stories of what people endured to get their freedom. Worth a visit!

1 Thank Ireallyneedavacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Part of the Tour”
Reviewed November 2, 2011

Loved the history. It was part of our tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining.

Visited October 2011
Thank Sassiz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia
Level Contributor
92 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Church great, tour didn't happen”
Reviewed October 23, 2011

We showed up for the 11 am tour only to be told that the guide hadn't shown up and they didn't think he would show up for the 2 pm either. Not a great way to run a tour service. Luckily, there was a bus tour from out of town in the Church who welcomed us to sit in while they viewed the Church, so we got the information anyhow. The Church is well worth seeing, but you'll need a guide, so maybe call ahead to make sure the Church is actually offering the tour before you head there.

Visited October 2011
Thank Portnoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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