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“So Much To Be Thankful”

First African Baptist Church
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Savannah Black History Tour
Ranked #9 of 218 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.
Augusta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“So Much To Be Thankful”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

For a small price, ($7 or $6 for military), it was worth the expense. Just to be reminded of the sacrifices the slaves made to make this an attraction for us today. If only the wall could talk and reveal the truth of what it toke to erect such a wonder. Lydia (Tour Guide) did a wonderful job explaining the history of those who played an important role in making the church the first Colored church in the area.

Visited May 2014
Thank Kenny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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780 reviews from our community

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Fort Worth
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great tour”
Reviewed 12 May 2014

The tour guide was very enthusiastic and gave a great presentation. We loved hearing about the history of the building, and the guide did a great job answering our questions. You really need to be flexible with their tour times. We only had 2 days that we could take the tour. When we arrived on the first day, they told us that there was a funeral and we couldn't take a tour. I'm glad we didn't have that happen on our last day. Also, there is not much parking in that area. It's best to park where you want to park for the day and walk here. On our second day, this was going to be our first stop, so we had not parked first. When we arrived at the church, they were asking for payment to use their parking lot, but we were going to have to move our car after the tour. I had just enough time to drive a few blocks away and find an open spot.

Visited November 2013
Thank mrjanto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Binghamton, New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“a different perspective”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

It gives you a different view of enslaved Black Americans. Rather than just passive acceptance of the status quo, they developed community through religion and self education, and sacrifice time and their meager resources to create a great institution within their community, that still serves. The tour was a bit wordy about the early ministers; I would have liked to hear more about the congregants.

Visited April 2014
Thank Mark E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“built 1831”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

This is Savannahs oldest house of worship. You must visit also Second African Baptist Church. This is where Martin Luther Kings first words of I have a Dream before his march to Washington D.C 1963. Before that on the steps outside General Sherman read Emancipation Proclamation to the residents of Savannah. The only negative is that most people don't know of the history. Only one other couple besides my family

Visited April 2014
1 Thank MandJCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wollongong, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An accidental great find!”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Drove into Savannah looking for somewhere to park and found an area right next to the First Baptist Church which was run by the church. For a small fee we could leave the car full of our luggage quite confidently as congregation members remained on site.
We then went into the church for only a quick look but ended staying for the entire tour. The young man who spoke was so passionate about his church, had wonderful historical knowledge and as an added bonus was a wonderful orator. This is not to be missed!

Visited February 2014
Thank Kez16616
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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