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“Excellent Historical Tour”

First African Baptist Church
Ranked #9 of 231 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 3 weeks ago

This is a not-to-miss site to see and to participate in the tour of the church. The tour took perhaps 1 1/2 to 2 hours but we were so interested in what was being said that we lost track of time. Unbelievable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the old south history. Our only regret was that we did not make it back for a Sunday service - that will have to be our next trip. There is a limited time of day for the tour so make certain to check there first. The church also has parking across the street for a fee.

Thank royoakes_1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"underground railroad"
in 227 reviews
"tour guide"
in 85 reviews
"runaway slaves"
in 16 reviews
"black history"
in 28 reviews
"african americans"
in 25 reviews
"worship service"
in 11 reviews
"sunday service"
in 13 reviews
"franklin square"
in 9 reviews
"amazing history"
in 19 reviews
"living history"
in 12 reviews
"piece of history"
in 12 reviews
"american history"
in 13 reviews
"history lesson"
in 20 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 12 reviews
"lots of history"
in 19 reviews
"great tour"
in 33 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 12 reviews
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17 - 21 of 879 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were most disappointed to find we could not look inside the church, only during set tour times. I'm sure it is rich in history and a must see, but my rating is based on the fact we did not get to go inside and see the church which was part of the underground railroad.

1  Thank LittleSis54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Great historic story revolving around this Church. I love that there are original touches throughout. Beautiful inside and out and located just off of the west side of city market.

Thank Denille B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I would highly recommend the First African Baptist Church tour. Our tour guide Joe was very informative and gave a history lesson that is not heard but should be. The tour guide was engaging and made us a part of the tour with questions that made you think and history that took you to the past. This is a tour not to miss.

Thank KarenRVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I visited First African Baptist Church of Savannah and your guide was not just informative but he inspired my group and I to go and look for other opportunities in Savannah to view slavery in a realistic view. He stated that the bottom line was more important than the truth. Unfortunately in our searches throughout downtown Savannah that is exactly what we found. Joe's way of sharing the truth has inspired all of us to search out the truth and share the TRUTH!!!! Everyone who we came in contact with at the church very open and helpful in every way.

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

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