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“A Great Place to Visit”

First African Baptist Church
Ranked #10 of 221 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 28 March 2012

The Church was a stop on the underground railroad freeing slaves. The hiding places were under the church floors and the quilts were maps of the stations along the route. Its a fascinating place to visit. Go early because it closes around 3:30pm. When we visit Savannah we always try to visit this church.

Thank AGCanada01
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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754 - 758 of 820 reviews

Reviewed 20 March 2012

This brought the slave experience to life for me. Seeing the elements they went through and hearing their experiences were humbling. A great history lesson.

Thank Ashlie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2012

I agree with the other reviews. This historic church has an amazing history, which you will only learn about if you take the tour.

Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2012

Wonderful example of an early African American house of worship

Thank tbbarrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2012

One of the best things I did in savannah. Excellent insight into a portion of savannah history ignored or glossed over by the house and trolley tours. Very nice church and the story of the building of the church and the history of the items inside were terrific. Check for tour times, usually only 2x a day and can not be seen without tour.

Thank css1222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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