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First African Baptist Church

23 Montgomery St, Savannah, GA 31401-2429
+1 912-233-6597
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You cannot view without a tour

We were most disappointed to find we could not look inside the church, only during set tour times... read more

Reviewed yesterday
LittleSis54
,
Chicago, Illinois
Great history and beautiful church

Great historic story revolving around this Church. I love that there are original touches... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Denille B
,
Gainesville, Georgia
Read all 862 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent80%
  • Very good15%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“tour guide” (80 reviews)
“runaway slaves” (16 reviews)
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
23 Montgomery St, Savannah, GA 31401-2429
Downtown
CONTACT
Website
+1 912-233-6597
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Write a ReviewReviews (862)
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"underground railroad"
in 224 reviews
"tour guide"
in 80 reviews
"runaway slaves"
in 16 reviews
"african americans"
in 24 reviews
"worship service"
in 11 reviews
"black history"
in 27 reviews
"sunday service"
in 12 reviews
"franklin square"
in 9 reviews
"amazing history"
in 18 reviews
"living history"
in 12 reviews
"piece of history"
in 12 reviews
"american history"
in 12 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 12 reviews
"history lesson"
in 18 reviews
"lots of history"
in 19 reviews
"great tour"
in 33 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 12 reviews
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1 - 10 of 850 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

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...More

Thank LittleSis54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed yesterday

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 2 days 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...More

Thank KarenRVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 3 days 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

Thank Kevin E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago

This was a history lesson long overdue. I recommend experiencing it for yourself...the things you hear - well - you should have read about in middle school. I wish I had.

Thank Patricia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The beauty and majesty of this building alone is overwhelming. Josef, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and engaging. This history is not taught in schools. I look forward to bringing my children back for a visit soon. Just knowing I was sitting in a...More

Thank Patrice J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A little something not in the history books. Our guide/historian told the story of Savannah's black American history with great enthusiasm and a bit of humor. Beautiful church built by slaves who had a story to tell. And there are holes in the floor. What?...More

1  Thank amcal2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

If you don't take the guided tour inside of this church, you'll be missing out on a huge core of Savannah's history. My husband and I were excited to tour the church and learn more about it's story after learning on our trolley tour that...More

3  Thank Mrs_G1vens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was my second visit of the First African Baptist Church. I visited back in 2015. Although the tour guide’s personality made me a little anxious (I had no idea what would come out of his mouth and that put me on the edge), he...More

Thank tbell2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Strongly encourage you to sit and listen to Joe tell all about the church and its history. Many famous travellers spoke or visited there.

1  Thank sonsonsunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
SportsDoc13
25 May 2018|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from amcal2015 | Reviewed this property |
We learned about the history of the church from the prospective of the slaves and their owners. The underground railroad is part of the story. You will really like the artifacts. Don't miss it.
0
Votes
Amckenney
21 December 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from penk18 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, church services are open to the public. But that said, if you don’t take the tour and learn from the guides, you are missing out on something powerful and extraordinary.
1
Vote
icwilson
19 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
1
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