FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCH

 

(Conclusion)

Previously: Linda and her husband are touring the above named church in Savannah, Ga. While there she discovers a nine patch ceiling design, African Hebrew cursive letters and Congolese cosmograms.

 

Diamond-shaped air holes for slaves hiding under the floor

Diamond-shaped air holes for slaves hiding under the floor

Our tour ended in the church auditorium, where the guide explained that the church was not just a museum, but a living center of community work.  The church membership numbers about 2000 people.  Members were just wrapping up the weekly food distribution, which served about 250 families in the area. 

He concluded the tour with an explanation of the symbolism designed into quilts which were hung on laundry lines to show escaping slaves a place of safety.   A beautiful replica quilt created by women members of the church was provided for us to see.

     As Bill and I walked away from the church, I gazed up at the painted red door entrance (the red door symbolizes that the mortgage on a building has been paid) and I know that the mortgage on this particular building was paid in countless ways not measured by money. 

The journey of the enslaved African people who were brought to this country against their will is a truly heroic and unforgettable one.  I hope that people take time to learn about it, remember it and repeat it. 

We still have much work to do in order to live up to the ideals of love expressed in so many of the world’s Holy Scriptures. 

Like this church, may the many nine patch symbols in our world also guide slaves

traveling toward freedom.

May those symbols also lead us to freedom!

Linda Rosenthal (May ‘17) adds, “My historical lessons at this holy temple were many and I still process them.” 

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