Key Info

23 Montgomery St.


Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 2.5Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

A National Historic Landmark, the First African Baptist Church was first organized in 1773 by Reverend George Leile and is the oldest continuous Black church in North America. The reverend, a slave who was later granted freedom by the British for his loyalty, became the church's pastor in 1775 and the church was officially established as a body of organized believers in 1777. After the British lost the Revolutionary War, rather than chance re-enslavement in the South, Leile fled to Jamaica. Before leaving for Jamaica, he ordained Andrew Bryan (one of the congregation's original members) to be the second pastor of the church until 1812 when his nephew Andrew Marshall took over. Under Marshall's leadership, the church acquired the property where it currently stands in downtown Savannah.

The church still features many historical elements, including stained-glass windows and the original lighting fixtures, balcony pews and baptismal pool. Today, visitors can attend a service or take a tour to admire its beauty. Previous travelers highly recommend stopping here to learn about its history and importance as part of the Underground Railroad.

The First African Baptist Church is located in central Savannah, near City Market. Tours are available Tuesday to Saturday at 11 a.m., and 2 and 4 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. Tours cost $10 for adults and $9 for seniors and students, kids 5 and younger are free. (Note: Tours are currently suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.) For more information, visit the church's website.

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