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“The Best”

First African Baptist Church
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Savannah Black History Tour
Ranked #8 of 217 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.
Savannah, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Best”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

DO NOT miss a guided tour of this church. I do not recall the docents name but her love of the history of the church was incomparable. She should be a history teacher.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank AndrewLowHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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740 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“History, History, History”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We had a delightful young man who's father was once one of the pastor's here. He was very knowledgeable and fun. So much history here you have got to see it to believe it

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Tim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A very eye opening tour”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I liked everything about the tour. I was blown away by the monument in the middle of franklin square also. That is one of the most powerful monuments in Savannah, and a great tribute to the brave men of Haiti. One thing I want to tell the tour guides though. If someone asks "Where is the train and train tracks to the underground railroad?" don't let that shock you. The people of America don't know a lot of history. Their "vacation" time needs to be their "education" time!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Ryan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
saint ignace, michigan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Incredible praising to the Lord!!”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

My Son and I ended our stay in Savannah by going to church here on our last day. We were there worshiping for 3 hours!! It was wonderful. We were there first for the hour of power service then stayed for the regular service because it was so moving! This congregation praises the Lord! If you need some inspiration and joy in your life, stop here and worship for a few hours!!!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank alexnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, Ohio
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2013

I enjoyed the history of the church, slaves, and the town. The tour guide was a member of the church and was very knowledgeable. Even invited us back on Sunday for service. Which I thought was a very nice gesture. I will admit I was overcome by the holes in the floor of the church which were there for the slaves who were in hiding , to be able to get air and breath. Just to stand there and think that at one time slaves were underneath the floors where I was standing was an unexplainable feeling.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank BrightEyes828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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