First African Baptist Church

  • 405 Telfair Street, Dublin, GA, United States
  • 478-272-1377
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  • Hours:
    Visitors can visit the interior of the church by appointment or attend Sunday services weekly at 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
    A plaque commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech is available for viewing on the exterior of the church.

First African Baptist Church was established in 1867 and is the oldest African American church in the City of Dublin GA. The current building was built in 1914 after the original wooden church was torn down.

Where a Child Became a Legend

Capture a glimpse into the child that became a legend of the Civil Rights movement. On April 17, 1944, the Colored Elks Clubs of Georgia held their state convention at First African Baptist Church in Dublin and sponsored an essay contest. A 15 year old student at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta delivered a speech entitled “The Negro and the Constitution.” Little did the audience realize they were witnessing the first public speech by Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., and the start of the Civil Rights Movement.

The speech detailed the struggle for true equality, ending with the quote, “My heart throbs anew in the hope that inspired by the example of Lincoln, imbued with the spirit of Christ, they will cast down the last barrier to perfect freedom. And I, with my with my brother of blackest hue possessing at last my rightful heritage and holding my head erect, may stand beside the Saxon- a Negro-and yet a man!”

On the return trip to Atlanta from Dublin, young Martin L. King was asked, for the first time in his young life, to relinquish his bus seat and stand in the rear of the bus with his teacher. King initially refused the demand, but was later convinced by his teacher to give up his seat.

Carrying on the Dream

Today, the church hosts an annual oratorical contest to honor Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and to continue his legacy of peaceable activism, humanitarianism, and leadership.

A community effort is underway to construct a monument commemorating Dr. King’s historic first speech at First African Baptist Church. Donations to support the project can be made at

Tours of First African Baptist Church are available by appointment. A plaque commemorating the speech is available for viewing on the exterior. Sunday services begin each Sunday at 8 AM, followed by Sunday school at 9:30 AM and a morning worship service at 10:45 AM.

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First African Baptist Church

405 Telfair Street, Dublin, GA, United States

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