We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

First African Baptist Church

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 23 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Phone Number:
+1 912-233-6597
Website
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: Yes
Description:

First African Baptist Church was organized in 1773 under the leadership of...

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.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
US$40.59*
and up
Savannah Black History Tour
Why book on Viator?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 638 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 485
    Excellent
  • 106
    Very good
  • 26
    Average
  • 5
    Poor
  • 7
    Terrible
Humor, History and Reflection

We had a group of 9 to do the tour of the historical First African Baptist Church. The tour with Reverend George as our guide. He made the audience a part of his presentation and... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
retiredpat
,
Bluffton, South Carolina
Add Photo Write a Review

638 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 629: English reviews
Bluffton, South Carolina
Level Contributor
120 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We had a group of 9 to do the tour of the historical First African Baptist Church. The tour with Reverend George as our guide. He made the audience a part of his presentation and he added humor. He was also serious in the presentation when needed. The building, furnishings, organ and so much more have an abundance of history... More 

Helpful?
Thank retiredpat
Coastal South Carolina, South Carolina
Level Contributor
143 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Our church group visited today and Reverend George was our guide. Rev George shared over an hour of church history with us and twenty other visitors. For someone who normally doesn't do tours, he was fantastic. He has a cheery outgoing personality which added to his extensive knowledge of the church history. The church began in 1777 worshipping in different... More 

Helpful?
Thank TennesseeDaisy
Level Contributor
25 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This place really touched my soul as you could see marking on the side of the pews. The pipe organ still stands as well as the pulpit,benches and flooring .Was told it was made out of Gopher wood and hence the holes in the floor to allow it to breath, not for the slaves to breath as commonly told on... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rose K
Ohio
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Loved walking threw the historic district admiring all the beautiful churches along the way and discovering all the many Squares of Savannah. This church was located at Franklin Square. Love to take pictures of these beautiful sites. Did not get to attend a service here. Sounds beautiful. What amazing history.

Helpful?
Thank Daisy C
Warner Robins, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Took a weekend trip with a friend. We're both history nuts. The church is beautiful so much detail still exists from its original days .Our tour guide was awesome and knowledgeable of the history of the church and the history of the underground railroad. Just wish we could of seen the actual area where the slaves hide in.It's well worth... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jusagagirl
charlotte nc
Level Contributor
56 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This is a must see in Savannah for anyone with even a passing interest in history. Joe led us through the history of the church. From the forming of the congregation to the construction of the current church. His ability to tie the threads of history together takes you on a journey that is an emotional experience. Please don't miss... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tina D
Jacksonville, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The African Baptist Church (organized in 1773) is proud of its heritage and anyone can see why. The sanctuary contains many historical elements from its rich history: stained-glass windows, 1832 pipe organ, and original pews. As a Civil War reenactor and author, I have an appreciation of this remarkable landmark and stories about the Underground Railroad with accounts of how... More 

Helpful?
Thank BestWay2Travel
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I live here in Savannah and decided to take the Freedom Trail Tour with my family visiting from New York. We learned so much and this church was part of the tour. Really enjoyed myself!

Helpful?
Thank neogr9
Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
776 reviews
309 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Around the world particularly in great European cities the church/cathedral is a demonstration of wealth This church really gives a different perspective of a time when people had the same religious beliefs but little else in common This church is built in poverty by great people who lived in different times

Helpful?
Thank Peter W
Rochester
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A lot of history in this structure. The docent provided a solid 90 minutes of interesting facts and history about the Church. Definitely a must-see for anyone interested in our country's real history.

Helpful?
Thank Fred E

Travellers who viewed First African Baptist Church also viewed

 
Savannah, Georgia Coast
 

Been to First African Baptist Church? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of First African Baptist Church and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from First African Baptist Church staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?