Savannah, Ga., June 13, 2017 – The Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a new Civil Rights Trail historical marker to First African Baptist Church this Wednesday in Savannah. The marker is the latest addition to the Georgia Civil Rights Trail, an initiative focused broadly on the economic, social, political, and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement.
The dedication will take place Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 4:00 p.m., at First African Baptist Church, 23 Montgomery St, Savannah.
Speakers for the event include The Honorable Eddie DeLoach, Mayor of Savannah; Reverend Thurmond N. Tillman, Pastor of First African Baptist Church; Dr. Jamal Toure, Director at George Leile Visions, Inc.; Christopher S. Hunter, MS, B.Arch, Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M University; Karen Wortham, owner of Journey By Faith; and Christy Crisp, Director of Programs at the Georgia Historical Society. Alfred “Isaiah” McGuire III, youth congregant at First African Baptist Church, will read the marker text.
The event is free and open to the public.
The historical marker reads:
First African Baptist Church
First African Baptist Church (FABC) traces its roots to 1773 and the organization of a congregation at nearby Brampton Plantation by Rev. George Leile. Under the leadership of Rev. Andrew C. Marshall (3rd pastor), the congregation obtained this property. Constructed of Savannah Grey brick by congregants, both free and enslaved, the current building was completed in 1859. Rev. Emanuel K. Love (6th pastor), an advocate for African-American education and civil rights, was instrumental in establishing today’s Savannah State University. Rev. Dr. Ralph Mark Gilbert (13th pastor) was a prominent leader of the NAACP and the revival of the Savannah chapter in the 1940s. U.S. Representative Adam Clayton Powell of Harlem and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are among the noteworthy speakers hosted here. FABC is one of the oldest continuously operating African-American churches in North America.
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and First African Baptist Church