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First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church, which was established during the 1770s, played an important part in the Savannah civil rights movement. The stained-glass windows in the current church building, located at 23 Montgomery Street in Savannah, feature prominent Black leaders.

Photograph by Carl Elmore. Courtesy of Savannah Morning News

First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church

A museum housing artifacts and church memorabilia dating to the eighteenth century is housed on the grounds of First African Baptist Church in Savannah. One of the oldest Black churches in the nation, First African has occupied its current site on Montgomery Street since 1859.

Photograph by Sarah E. McKee, New Georgia Encyclopedia

First Bryan Baptist Church

First Bryan Baptist Church

This post-Civil War sketch depicts members of Savannah's First Bryan Baptist Church, named after early Baptist minister Andrew Bryan, congregating outside the church building. The church is one of the oldest Black churches in North America.

Photograph by James M. Simms

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

The main sanctuary of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a megachurch in Atlanta, holds 7,500 people. The use of state-of-the-art technology, including lighting, sound systems, and wide-screen video monitors, is a hallmark of the worship experience in many megachurches.

Courtesy of the Sizemore Group, the Architects

First Baptist Church of Woodstock

First Baptist Church of Woodstock

First Baptist Church of Woodstock is one of the largest megachurches in Georgia, with approximately 16,000 members in 2007. Pictured is the Worship Building (background); Building A (center foreground), which houses the chapel; and Building B (left foreground), which houses classrooms and a gymnasium.

Courtesy of First Baptist Church of Woodstock

Savannah Christian Church Bookstore

Savannah Christian Church Bookstore

Savannah Christian Church, a megachurch in Savannah, operates a bookstore on the church campus. Many megachurches offer a variety of services and facilities to their members, including bookstores, gymnasiums, information centers, and shuttle services.

Courtesy of Savannah Christian Church

Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel, founded in 1733, is the oldest Jewish congregation in the South. The current synagogue, erected in Savannah between 1876 and 1878, is designed in the Gothic style and features a museum documenting the congregation's history.

Photograph by Kelly Caudle, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Kiokee Baptist Church

Kiokee Baptist Church

Kiokee Baptist Church, located today in Appling, is the oldest Baptist church still active in Georgia. Pictured is the church's third building, which was constructed in 1808 several miles outside Appling in Columbia County.

Courtesy of Jarrett Burch

Cultural Center

Cultural Center

The Shrine of the Black Madonna in Atlanta was founded in 1975 as the ninth congregation of the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church. The tradition combines elements of Roman Catholic, charismatic, and African religious rituals, and each church operates a cultural center and bookstore.

Photograph by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Camp Meeting

Camp Meeting

A hand-colored aquatint by M. Dubourg depicts a Methodist camp meeting held in North America, circa 1819. Camp meetings were a common event during the years of the Second Great Awakening, a series of Protestant revivals held between 1790 and 1830.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Cane Ridge Revival

Cane Ridge Revival

The Cane Ridge Revival, held in Kentucky in 1801, was one of the earliest events in the Restoration Movement, a Protestant movement seeking to unify the church after the pattern described in the New Testament. The revival also represents an early example of a camp meeting, a tradition of outdoor services established in the South during the Second Great Awakening, from 1790 to 1830.

DeKalb County Meeting

DeKalb County Meeting

Participants in a camp meeting, held in DeKalb County around 1900, gather for a photograph inside the tabernacle. The first documented camp meeting in Georgia occurred in 1803 on Shoulderbone Creek in Hancock County.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
dek208-85.

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Salem Camp Ground

Salem Camp Ground

The tabernacle, or arbor, at Salem Camp Ground in Newton County, pictured in 1931, is representative of the architectural form that served as the centerpiece of camp meeting grounds throughout the South. Salem Camp Ground, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, continues to hold annual meetings.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
new192-83.

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Springfield Baptist Church

Springfield Baptist Church

Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta, founded in 1773, is one of the oldest Black congregations in the United States. The cornerstone for the current church building was laid in 1897.

Courtesy of Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Henry Watts

Henry Watts

Henry Watts served as the pastor of Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

From Old Springfield: Race and Religion in Augusta, Georgia, by E. Cashin

Ebenezer Baptist Church

Ebenezer Baptist Church

The Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta—in which King was ordained and from which he conducted many of his civil rights campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s—is now preserved as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site.

Wright Prayer Tower

Wright Prayer Tower

The lighted cross atop the Wright Prayer Tower at Epworth by the Sea, a Methodist conference and retreat center on St. Simons Island, overlooks the Frederica River and the Marshes of Glynn.

Photograph by Ed Mathews

Entrance to Epworth by the Sea

Entrance to Epworth by the Sea

Epworth by the Sea has grown from a rustic camp facility to a modern Methodist conference and retreat center. Epworth provides "a Christian place for worship, study, and fellowship" to individuals and groups from any denomination.

Photograph by David Miller

Lane Chapel

Lane Chapel

Lane Chapel is located on the site of the former Hamilton Plantation, which was purchased by the Methodists in 1949 for the establishment of Epworth by the Sea, a retreat and conference center.

Photograph by Ed Mathews

Bethesda

Bethesda

Day of Prayer at Bethesda, a home established in 1740 for orphaned boys. Bethesda, near Savannah, is still in operation today.

Courtesy of Bethesda School for Boys

Coastal Marsh, Bethesda

Coastal Marsh, Bethesda

Bethesda, an orphanage for boys founded near Savannah in 1740, is situated on 600 acres, including coastal marsh. Boys can gain experience with shrimping, farming, and forestry studies, in addition to traditional school subjects.

Courtesy of Bethesda School for Boys

George Whitefield

George Whitefield

With funds raised primarily in his native England, Anglican minister George Whitefield opened the Bethesda Orphan House in Savannah in 1740. In 1791 the state assumed control of the orphanage and later opened an academy.

Big Bethel Concert Choir

Big Bethel Concert Choir

The Big Bethel AME Concert Choir ispictured in 1947 in front of the church's Möller organ. At the time, the choir was under the directorship of Henry J. Furlow. The church and its choirs were known for their many performances, including the world-famous religious pageant.

Courtesy of Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, HenryJ. and Florine Dyer Furlow Papers..

Big Bethel AME Church

Big Bethel AME Church

Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, pictured circa 1975, was organized in 1847. The church went through several sanctuary buildings until the construction of this Romanesque Revival building in the 1920s, by architect J. A. Lankford and builder Alexander Hamilton.

Courtesy of Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Ann States Collection.

Big Bethel AME Church

Big Bethel AME Church

Big Bethel AME, on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, is pictured circa 1975. Throughout its history, Big Bethel has been a pillar of the Sweet Auburn district., working to maintain the historical integrity of the neighborhood in addition to its ministries.

Courtesy of Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Ann States Collection.