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“Take the Freedom Trail Tour”

First African Baptist Church
Ranked #11 of 225 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.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Our guide looked so much like Mike Epps!!! At first, I was thinking to myself "I'm really not interested in seeing this church". I am SO glad I took this tour because it was so informative and made me realize that this church stood for more than just religion. It was part of the underground trail, etc.

Thank GeauxSaints187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"underground railroad"
in 224 reviews
"tour guide"
in 80 reviews
"runaway slaves"
in 16 reviews
"african americans"
in 24 reviews
"worship service"
in 11 reviews
"black history"
in 27 reviews
"sunday service"
in 12 reviews
"franklin square"
in 9 reviews
"amazing history"
in 18 reviews
"living history"
in 12 reviews
"piece of history"
in 12 reviews
"american history"
in 12 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 12 reviews
"history lesson"
in 18 reviews
"lots of history"
in 19 reviews
"great tour"
in 33 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 12 reviews
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736 - 740 of 845 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2012

VERY intersting and informative tour. SO much history and so much we never knew. Very intragal part of Savannah's history!

Thank susan8753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

This is another church in Savannah with a interesting history. A tour of the church is seven dollars per person and worth every penny. Not your typical tour, our tour guide, Mr. McDonald, interacted with us instead of just telling us about the church's history. Amazing to find out what the people went through to build the church and the role the First African Baptist Church played in our history. A must see stop in Savannah!

Thank SBDFAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Beautiful church with magnificent architecture and the original stained glass windows. Loved the ability to see the African tribal markings placed on the pews by the builders in an attempt to preserve their tribal origins.

Thank DebsOnTheRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2012

This was a great tour. The tour guide, Mr. McDonald, was very good and entertaining. The church was beautiful, and the history behind it was amazing.

Thank Libbie67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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