First African Baptist Church


Begun in 1863 in the Brownsville area (see Brownsville).

First African Baptist is the oldest existing church on the island. It was established in 1863 and the building was constructed two years later. The newer structure occupies a frontage on Church Road in front of the old church.

  • The Island Packet, August 27, 1970


On the 132nd anniversary of the church:

The church was established in 1863 by freed slaves six months after the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Located at the intersection of Beach City Road and Mathews Drive long before those roads were so named, the church was often called “Crossroads” and gave birth to all the black Baptist churches on the island. Services had been held in a large wooden building with a choir balcony. The present church was built in 1970. Among the pastors leading the congregation have been The Rev. John Fair of Pineland, the Rev. Solomon Campbell of Hilton Head, the Rev. S.J. Tilly of Allendale, the Rev. C.W. Aiken of Savannah, The Rev. Charles C. Huston and the Rev. Corey M. Brown.

  • The Island Packet, August 13, 1995