Magnolia Midlands / Dublin

First African Baptist Church

405 Telfair Street
Dublin, GA 31021

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his first public speech in 1944 at First African Baptist Church

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First African Baptist Church was established in 1867 and is the oldest African American church in the City of Dublin.

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 14-year-old student at Booker T. Washington High School 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.

On the return trip to Atlanta, Martin L. King was asked 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 to give up his seat.

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

Info & Amenities

  • Hours of Operation

    Sunday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
    Monday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
    Tuesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
    Wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
    Thursday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
    Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
    Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

    Admission & Fees

    General Admission Free

    Facility Amenities

    Free Parking, Parking off Site, Parking on Site, Self-guided Tours

    General Information

    Family-friendly, Free Admission , Handicapped Accessible (Limited)

    Near Interstate Highway


    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages


  • Oratorical Speech Contest: A Celebration of MLK

    Oratorical Speech Contest: A Celebration of MLK

    04/18/2015 - 04/18/2015

    Celebrate the speech-making tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at First African Baptist Church in Dublin, GA where, on April 17, 1944, a young Martin Luther King, Jr., presented his first public speech during an oratorical contest.

    The contest theme is "A Century of Black Life, History and Culture." Admission to view the contest is free and open to the public.

    This contest is open to children in grade 6 or higher and adults. There is no entry fee to participate in this... read more

  • Dublin Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Parade

    Dublin Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Parade

    01/16/2016 - 01/16/2016

    Celebrate our history as Dublin commemorates Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. in the 21st Annual MLK Parade in Downtown Dublin. With over 160 floats, Dublin's MLK Parade is the second largest in Georgia!

    The application fee for the MLK Parade is $35. To participate, pick up an application from Miller's Soul Food, call Laura Irvin at 478-272-3966 or James Holder at 478-697-1366. Miller's Soul Food is located in Downtown Dublin at 115 South Lawrence Street.

    A Dublin Connection

    ... read more