Discover the First African Baptist Church in Savannah Georgia
This is the oldest black church in N America. It was established when the Baptist Church was laying its foundation in America. Stay and Play in GA!
The "Heroic Age" of George Leile marks the beginning of the church in 1773. He was ordained May 20, 1775 and enjoyed absolute freedom. He constituted the church December 1777 and thus became the first pastor of the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia.
The First African Baptist Church, a survivor of the Revolutionary War, during the over-awing hand of the hostile British, a growing body of the Reconstruction Period and a strong force during the Revolutionary changes of the 1960's for the Black community had its beginning in 1773. She was officially born May 1775.
Through the years, the First African Baptist Church has rendered service for the community on behalf of all people and is a standing monument for the role she has played.
One of the slaves baptized by George Leile was Andrew Bryan. He was permitted to preach by his slave master Johnathan Bryan. He became the spiritual leader of the church that was established by Leile. Bryan was ordained January 20, 1788 and he became the second pastor of the constituted church.
He purchased the fourth site on which they worshipped on West Bryan Street. The congregation changed the name of the church in 1822 from the First Colored Church to First African Baptist Church.
On July 26, 1826, the first Black Sunday School in North America was organized in the church. The initiative was taken by the Independent Presbyterian Church.
The present sanctuary, was erected in 1859 by the members of the congregation doing the work themselves. It is rated excellent in architecture and listed in the National Register of Historic places. This is the first building constructed of brick in the State of Georgia owned by blacks. For years it was known as the "Brick Church."
The pipe organ was installed in 1888. The baptismal pool is located in the pulpit.
The church houses the first museum in any area black church. It contains archives and memorabilia that date the church back to the 18th century.
Amenities: Parking, Public Restrooms, Accessibility for mobility-impaired and party facilities. Open: Call for hours and fees.