The Right Blend Blog

Black History Month Feature: Historic Baptismal Trail

Photo by Ralph Daniels

African American heritage is such an important part of Liberty County’s history. This beautiful historic site provides insight into the lives of African Americans who arrived as slaves then eventually gained their freedom. The Historic Baptismal Trail in Riceboro was an active holy site for almost 100 years as ancestors of the local Geechee communities baptized new members into their faith.


Baptisms in this swamp began as early as the 1840s. It was likely chosen for its proximity to a well-known fishing & swimming spot called Round Hole. Christian baptisms at this location were first performed on enslaved African Americans by white members of the nearby North Newport Church. When the white congregation moved to Walthourville in 1854, the slaves renamed the church to the First African Baptist Church and continued ritual baptisms there until the 1940s.

Photo by Ralph Daniels

This history was based on oral and written church history from the surviving descendants of the Frist African Baptist Church. Some descendants of the Geechee people still live nearby. During the taking of these baptism photos, the parishioners broke into song just as their ancestors may have when the baptismal pool was still in use.

Historic Baptismal Trail

Today, this sacred trail provides a peaceful walking path for visitors. The site now features a boardwalk, benches and picnic tables. Interpretive signage was also placed there regarding the surrounding natural habitat and historical significance of the site. During their hours of operation, visitors can have self-guided tours through this holy trail.

Liberty County is proud of the history that has taken place here throughout the last 240 years. To be free physically, educationally & spiritually is what we stand for, thus our name, Liberty. We encourage visitors to our coastal community to check out our historic sites and markers throughout the county.

Liberty County small logomark

In Liberty County, we like to say we have The Right Blend for everyone. Whether you’re visiting us for a weekend, looking to plant some roots, or working on your business dream, Liberty welcomes you with open arms and endless possibilities.

Visit Liberty County today!