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“A must visit!”

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.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A must visit!”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Took a tour of the church on a recent visit to Savannah. If you love history, you won't be disappointed. The tour was great! I would do it again. The fee is like $7 for an adult. The tour takes about 45 minutes maybe to an hour at the most. Johnny was our tour guide and he was great! I was SO glad I did this.

Visited February 2014
Thank Ladysam2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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741 reviews from our community

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English first
Thomasville, Georgia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Awesome Experience”
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Please place this on your list of places to visit when in Savannah. I was amazed of the history and the church itself is beautiful.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank SRGreen754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Glad we went”
Reviewed January 26, 2014 via mobile

Overwhelming to stand in the same church as my ancestors. The tour guide, who is an active member of the church, was very informative. From the events that were held in the church, to the history of the type of trees the church floors were made of, my family and I were intrigued by the history.

1 Thank Tailascott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Some great gospel going on here!”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

I came for the history and the Underground Railroad connection, not realizing it was Sunday! Church was going on so I stayed for the service. It was one of my most favorite experiences of Savannah--some real, honest-to-goodness raise the roof gospel going on! I felt very welcomed and even took communion with the good folks. But I never got to see the underground railroad bits--I'll have to go back one day! There is no fee for a Sunday service, although I put a little something in the offering plate. I believe at other times there is a modest fee--I think I saw $7.50 mentioned.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank TravelingTeach04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The history is over whelming. Just to walk thru the church & feel the lives that were impacted is history being relived.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank Bill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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