Places of worship dot the downtown Savannah Historic District. Attitudes today include mutual respect. That was not always the way of religious tolerance, especially when the historic Savannah colony was formed in 1733. Catholics and Jews were not permitted initially. Neither were lawyers, slaves or alcoholic drinks.
Historic churches and places of sacred worship help to make strangers familiar with the traditions – both in religious orientation and the Savannah way of worship. In the Savannah Historic District places of worship hold prominent addresses, primarily clustered facing east or west on the downtown squares. Their placement is unique, yet included in the world-famous Plan of Savannah, (ca. 1733) set in place by Georgia colony founder James Edward Oglethorpe and South Carolina’s Colonel William Bull.
Christ Church on Johnson Square is Georgia’s Mother Church, an Episcopal Church founded by English Anglicans by Savannah’s earliest settlers.
On Monterey Square, Mickve Israel Synagogue is the third oldest synagogue in America.
Facing Abercorn Street on Lafayette Square, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is the outgrowth of French Haitian immigrants – Savannah’s first Catholics. Irish Catholics following, introduction St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.
First African Baptist Church faces Franklin Square in the area of City Market. It is the oldest African Baptist Church in the United States. Folklore includes the role of this Church in the Underground Railroad, and slaves being converted on Savannah River Plantations through initial word to word conversion and later worshiping in their master’s barn on Brampton Plantation.
Located on Anderson and Bull Streets, the Greek Orthodox Church was originally the Lawton Opera House.
The Universalist Church was orginally located on the west side of Oglethorpe Square. Here James Pierpoint wrote the words to “Jingle Bells.” The church is now on the west side of Troop Square.
These are more historic Savannah district churches are listed here. We hope you will worship or tour Historic Savannah religious and historic buildings near this historic district hotel-inn-motel. Many are open to the public for visitation.
Inquire at the front desk to arrange for an historic district tour devoted to Savannah historic district’s places of worship.