While on our honeymoon, my wife Katie and I visited many interesting places.
(“My wife!”…I’m still getting used to saying that, but it is pretty stinkin’ cool!)
One of the places we visited was Savannah, GA. It is a really fascinating historic city dating back to the 18th century. That’s pretty amazing because it’s pretty old compared to almost anything other than St. Augustine here in Florida.
Our time there was a blast, and I thought I would take a few blog posts to tell you about it (don’t worry, i’ll keep it G rated.)
Among the historical sites that we saw was the First African Baptist Church. This is the oldest church in America built by slaves for slaves. It almost goes without saying, but it is just appalling how the slave owners claimed to be Christian while at the same time enslaving others also made in God’s image for their own personal gain. Sadly, this is the troubled history of our land.
The slave owners there in Savannah allowed their slaves, after working on the plantations all day, to do whatever they wanted during the night. Despite the hypocritical example portrayed by the slave masters’ example of Christianity, many of these slaves were genuine followers of Christ. They worked all night doing the hard manual labor of carrying up stones from the river to build their own church. This church later became a major stop in the underground railroad and helped many Blacks not only to know Christ as their Savior and Lord, but also helped also bring them closer towards freedom in this life.
By far the most inspiring and amazing sight at the church were the patterns of holes in the floor of the church basement. The slaves told their masters that these were “African prayer symbols” but in reality these were air holes for the runaway slaves hidden under the flooring! The legacy of vibrant faith in the Black church is a long and magnificent one.
My prayer for the African-American church is that the best is yet to come.