For almost 100 years this site was an active holy place where the ancestors of the local Geechee communities baptized new members into their faith. Oral and written church history from the surviving descendants of the First African Baptist Church indicate that as early as the 1840s this site was used as a place where the ritual Christian baptism was performed by leaders of a congregation of enslaved people. These early baptisms were carried out in affiliation with the White North Newport Church. After the white congregation moved to Walthourville in 1854, the enslaved Africans renamed the church the First African Baptist Church and continued the practice of the ritual baptisms at the site until the early 1940s.
The site features a boardwalk, benches, and picnic tables as well as interpretive signage regarding the surrounding natural habitat and the historical significance of the site. It is open to the public for self-guided tours Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm and on Saturdays & Sundays, 9:00am-5:00pm. Hours are subject to change.
Contact the City of Riceboro for more information at 912.884-2986 or visit www.cityofriceboro.com
To see more pictures from the Historic Baptismal Trail, click here.