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“Awesome Landmark for All!”

First African Baptist Church
Ranked #10 of 220 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 30, 2013

This church is the first African American church in the United States. It was built in the 1700s and is full of history and beauty. The sanctuary is large and gorgeous...the stained glass window panes pay homage to many of the African Americans who paved the way for freedom and civil rights. The lower boughs of the church house tunnels that were used in Civil War times for passage in the Underground Railroad. People of all ethnicities enjoy taking part in tours and services. No one should leave Savannah without taking advantage of seeing this awesome piece of history!

Thank Susan8696
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"underground railroad"
in 219 reviews
"runaway slaves"
in 16 reviews
"tour guide"
in 77 reviews
"black history"
in 27 reviews
"worship service"
in 11 reviews
"african americans"
in 22 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 13 reviews
"american history"
in 12 reviews
"historic site"
in 12 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 12 reviews
"history lesson"
in 18 reviews
"lots of history"
in 18 reviews
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605 - 609 of 822 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

After staying in Savannah for a few days and making tracks around town we decided to see this historical site (we heard about it from Stu our tour guide on the white trolleys). WOW, was this an emotional and educating visit. This church is amazing and listening to the history is fascinating... You cannot help but "feel" what these beautiful n proud people had to go through and persevered. My husband, who is African American and my 12 year old son who is multi-racial and I were all together.... It was the best experience for us all and I was so proud to share this with my family and honor our heritage together. Every child should come through these doors and share in this. We have come so far as a people but let us NEVER forget this part of our history and let us honor all that have opened these doors for us all. God Bless this church, it's members and Johnny for keeping this alive and thriving. LOVED Ms. Karen too and she has the best Shea butter!

Thank Darlene G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I was very happy that we visited this historically rich landmark. We were amazed by the history of the church. This is definitely a place everyone visiting Savannah should be sure to see. We really enjoyed listening about the history of how the church was built, the pastors and the underground railroad.

Thank goodlife6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

No American should miss visiting this landmark. Full of African American history, brings to light both the plight and devotion of the African slave.

1  Thank roadiepeeps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

Loved the church and its wonderful history! We were guided by Day Clean Journeys. Excellent! No dislikes

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

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