First African Baptist Church, pastored by Rev. T.N. Tillman, invites the Savannah community to experience the Traditional Candlelight Communion Celebration presented by Rev. Matthew Southall Brown, Sr. on the First Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM. The celebration marks 54 years since the inception of the Candlelight Communion Celebration in Savannah, first held the 3rd Sunday in December in 1970 at the St. John Baptist Church, “The Mighty Fortress.” This event is being reenacted because of popular demand. First African Baptist Church has been selected to host this special event because of its historical connection to the in- spiration for the celebration. Former pastor, Rev. Dr. Ralph Mark Gilbert served as mentor to Rev./Pastor Matthew Southall Brown, Sr.. Rev. Brown, Sr. performed in several theatrical plays written and produced by Dr. Gilbert. His desire to begin the Candlelight Celebration was inspired by his participation in these theatrical productions.
The Candlelight Communion Service will feature original music by Rev. Matthew Southall Brown, Sr. to be performed by the Candlelight Choir. The event will also feature special guest soloists Monica Blake Mickle and Savannah’s own, Charlesetta Blake. Ms. Monica Mickle is longtime singer and gospel artist, considered one of the finest psalmist of her time. Ms. Charlesetta Blake is a Savannah native and highly sought-after singer who has performed for several years in the Savannah area. The music will be a featured part of the Communion celebration.
The Candlelight Communion Celebration will help kick off the 237th anniversary celebration of First African Baptist Church. Constituted December of 1777, First African is the oldest, continuous Black congregation in North America. The anniversary celebration will begin with a special worship experience on the morning of Sunday, December 7th at 10:00 AM. Rev. Cazzie Russell, of National Basketball Association fame, will be the guest minister. Everyone is invited to share with the First African Baptist Church congregation for these two very special events!
The entire Savannah community is invited to share in this special event. Parking will be available at St. Julian St., Ships of the Sea Museum, and nearby courtesy parking. Guests are asked to bring their own battery-operated candles or flashlights.