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First African Baptist Church

23 Montgomery St, Savannah, GA 31401-2429
+1 912-233-6597
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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.
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Travellers talk about
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
23 Montgomery St, Savannah, GA 31401-2429
+1 912-233-6597
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Reviews (783)
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1 - 10 of 773 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago

Excellent tour that was very informative. Lots of information on how the church was used by slaves to escape.

Thank Clifford W
Reviewed 6 days ago

This amazing church is within sight of the City market ( where slaves were sold) so please take the time to visit and learn the role this building played in the real underground railroad. For a full understanding of the city and its history spend...More

1  Thank bigred2016
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

There were moments of really interesting historical reference and details about the experience of the underground railroad. HOWEVER there was so much talk about sports and condescension towards some of the guests it was really uncomfortable. tour could have rapped up in less than an...More

Thank Sitasu
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Rather ironic but I'm guessing planned that this underground RR site is across from where the slaves were traded. Great to hear the history of its building and the role it played for the community. Right on trolley tour so you can hear all about...More

Thank Chris J
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

First African Baptist Church was the first "organized" African Church in America. It's organization dates to 1773. It was built by salves with the permission of their masters and, wonderfully, incorporates a way station for the underground railroad. Take the tour. You will gain new...More

Thank Ian_Ro
Reviewed 10 August 2017

14 million visitors pass through Savannah annually and most will never bother to notice the church facing city market when, in fact, it should be one of their very first stops. After all, First African is the oldest black church in America-- built before the...More

Thank savannahmayor
Reviewed 8 August 2017

Don't pay for the tour, walk to it yourself. The organized tour was not organized. Lots of history, culture, and heritage with the church.

Thank Greta M
Reviewed 8 August 2017

A beautiful and historical church. Martin Luther King made his famous, "I have a dream..." speech in this church. Well worth the visit!

Thank chippewa2
Reviewed 5 August 2017

Very moving slave history. They built and worshiped here. Services still held. Just west of City Market off Franklin Square.

Thank Sightsee_Eat
Reviewed 5 August 2017

This was my second visit to the church but the first time I attended the worship service. It was such a humbling experience to be in a church with such a rich history. The service was very uplifting and the congregation was so friendly.

Thank Frances S
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Questions & Answers
18 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from Jusagagirl | Reviewed this property |
Yes there is .. the cost is $7.00 seniors and students are $6.00 . They do the tours Tuesday and Thursdays 11-1 Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 11-2 you can call just to make sure nothing has changed since I was there... More
22 April 2017|
Response from 1FABC | Property representative |
Greetings! Our tour times are 11am and 2pm Tuesday - Saturday and 1pm on Sunday. The fee is $7.00 per adult and $6.00 per senior, student, or military. The fee for groups of 10 or more people is $6.00 per person and... More
Tere M
24 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 11 answers
Response from 1FABC | Property representative |
Greetings! I apologize for the delayed response. Group tours of 10 or more people require a reservation. Tour times are 11am and 2pm Tuesday - Saturday and 1pm on Sunday. The fee is $6.00 per person. We also have Girl... More