First African Baptist Church Tours
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The First African Baptist Church was organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile, and it is still under dispute today whether it was the first officially organized African Baptist church, or if Petersburg, Virginia’s First Baptist Church holds the title.
Under third Pastor Reverend Andrew C. Marshall, the congregation obtained the present-day property and organized the first black Sunday School in North America. The name of the church was then changed from “First Colored Baptist” to “First African Baptist.”
Visitors to First African Baptist Church in Savannah can view many historical pieces. Among these are the stained-glass windows along the edifice that were installed by 5th pastor Reverend George Gibbons. A stained glass window of Reverend Leile is located outside the church.
Balcony pews are original to the church, made by slaves. The lighting fixtures, 1832 Pipe Organ, and the baptismal pool are all original as well. Cursive Hebrew (African dialect) markings are seen on the original balcony pews, and the ceiling of the church has a “Nine Patch Quilt” design, representing the church as a safe house for slaves. Holes in the floor are known as Congolese Cosmogram, African prayer symbol shapes. In Africa, it also means “Flash of the Spirits,” representing the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.
The church also has an underground railroad below the auditorium floor. The entrance is unknown and there is no record as to who or how many people passed through this four-foot tall tunnel.
During segregation, First African Baptist Church served as the largest gathering place for blacks and whites to meet. The church even held graduation ceremonies for some black students who were banned from walking with their class.
Onsite historic tours are available Tuesday through Sunday at 11am and 2pm, and 1pm Sunday. There is an admission charge.
Address: 402 Treat Ave, Savannah, Georgia 31404, USA
Hours: Tours: Tues-Sun 11am & 2pm, Sun 1pm
Admission: Adults $7, Students $6
2 Tours and Activities to Experience First African Baptist Church
If biking through Savannah sounds like a fun way to see Georgia’s oldest city, this bike tour is the way to go. It combines a guided tour of historic Savannah sites with a great range of bike rentals: choose from standard or electric bikes, and keep them for a full or half-day after your tour.
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Let’s Roam is the #1 app-led scavenger hunt company. Walk to all the best landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and solving challenges. Work with your team or compete against them, as you learn new facts and create memorable experiences. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts are great as an everyday activity, or for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, corporate team building events and more! Each player chooses an interactive role, with challenges varying by person.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are First African Baptist Church hours of operation?
First African Baptist Church hours of operation: Tours: Tues-Sun 11am & 2pm, Sun 1pm. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
What's the best way to experience First African Baptist Church?
The best ways to experience First African Baptist Church are:
- Savannah's Historical Bike Tour and Bike Rental Package
- Savannah Scavenger Hunt: Historic Savannah Adventure
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