Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First African American Baptist Church

While we were in Savannah, we toured the First African Baptist Church. Our tourguide was Johnny. He is one of the college aged men at this church and he does a great job at telling the church's story.

I will not do it justice, but here's a little of what we learned. This church was built on this site in 1859 primarily by slaves who would work on the plantations during the day, and were given permission to come to the construction site at night to build their church. They made the bricks down by the river and then had to bring them to the property. If you have ever been to Savannah, you can imagine having to walk up that hill carrying these huge blocks. The church is so well built it has been designated as a hurricane shelter. The auditorium has beautiful stained glass and the handiwork on the pews and all throughout the church are inspring. Many areas of the floor have holes in them and it was explained that underneath the church is a tunnel that led from the church all the way to the river. This was part of the underground railroad. As we stood in the historical room and heard this explained, some of the visitors there sung a song for us called "Wade in the water" - this song was used to let the slaves know it was safe to exit the tunnel. I don't think there was a dry eye in that room hearing that song and thinking of these wonderful determined people.

After the tour, I spoke with Karen who is the church historian. What a wonderful lady! If you are in Savannah, stop in and meet Johnny and Karen.

You can definitely find God in this place!

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