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“#1 Historic Highlight of my trip”

First African Baptist Church
Ranked #10 of 222 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
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.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Stop here, take the tour, and see a part of history not too often discussed or so easily accessible. The tour guide seemed full of information and left me eager to fact check and learn more. The church itself is so well preserved and untouched that you step inside and feel like you're back in time. I think that experience is hard to find with renovations and restorations. I hope to return.

1  Thank haitifun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"underground railroad"
in 222 reviews
"tour guide"
in 79 reviews
"runaway slaves"
in 16 reviews
"black history"
in 27 reviews
"worship service"
in 11 reviews
"african americans"
in 23 reviews
"sunday service"
in 11 reviews
"franklin square"
in 9 reviews
"tour times"
in 12 reviews
"amazing history"
in 18 reviews
"living history"
in 12 reviews
"piece of history"
in 12 reviews
"american history"
in 13 reviews
"historic site"
in 12 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 12 reviews
"history lesson"
in 18 reviews
"lots of history"
in 19 reviews

674 - 678 of 834 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

The tour is priced right 7 dollars for most adults it's about an hour. It's a good history lesson about slaves around the area , a slight history on Savanna and about the Underground Railroad . It's a cant miss if you are interested in Savanna history

Thank Mrjerico12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We took the Black History Tour with Johnny Brown. The church was our final stop and offers a rich history on the development of the first Christian church for African Americans. It was also a safe house for run away slaves on the Underground Railroad.

Thank Mlnorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Set in what used to be the City Market area of Savannah, this simple & dignified church stands in testimony to the Africans who labored under slavery by day then turned up to build themselves a church by night. They would be proud to see this vibrant congregation & to know that tourists pay money to visit the church. I would definitely put this on the list of things to see if you want to extend your visit beyond what the white people did in our 13th colony.

Thank JCBrookline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 24, 2013

We wanted to see First African Baptist Church and just happened to show up as Johnny was starting a tour so we decided to join in and I'm glad we did. This tour was a good reality check after seeing some of the other notable buildings in the city.To learn of the sacrifices made by the enslaved blacks to build this church was very moving and the pride that our guide took in the role this congregation played through history was evident. Although the church building itself is not obviously "grand", it is certainly rich in spirit. Johnny was an excellent guide. The tour was about an hour in length.

Thank HPL1352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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