All About SAB

  Second African Baptist Church is the second oldest, African-American Baptist Church in North America. This church had its beginning, as did the others, through the conversion of George Liele and the baptism of Andrew Bryan.
    In the late 1700's there became a need to organize a second colored church on the east side of Savannah. A spot was chosen in the Old Fort section on Greene Square. This square was named for the Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene.
    The church was established on December 26, 1802, with twenty-six members. These members were servants, skilled workers and some freed Negroes who were living in Savannah. Its first pastor was Rev. Henry Cunningham who served his church for thirty-nine years.
    The first structure had only one level over a shallow basement. The Pulpit used in this level today is believed to be the one used in the original church.
    The church was elevated nineteen feet in 1889. The structure was then a stone foundation with a framed upper story with leaded, stained glass windows, cushioned pews and chandeliers.
    In 1910, the choirs were moved from the rear of the church to the present site over the pulpit. in 1912, a pipe organ was donated as memorial to the Monroe family.
    In 1926, there was a fire. In the repairs, the wooden structure was replaced by red brick veneer and the leaded, stained glass windows were replaced.
    This church has always been the mecca of cultural affairs in the African-American community. Many concerts, lectures and public meetings are held here. It was in this church that General William T. Sherman issued his famous Field Order #15, granting the newly freed slaves "40 acres and a mule."
    In 1976, during the Bicentennial celebration, a stone marker was placed in Greene Square commemorating the church's participation.
    Second African Baptist Church was among the first, if not "the first", to have:
  • an indoor baptism pool
  • an organized choir
  • the first daily Vacation Bible School in Savannah in 1926
  • scholarships for young women to continue in higher education.