Black church in GA, believed to be oldest in U.S. finishes repairs

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A 160-year-old church believed to be the oldest black church in the United States and built by enslaved Africans has been restored to a version of its former glory.

The Savannah Morning News reports it cost nearly $600,000 to repair numerous issues at First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia.

But some historic pieces remain, such as the pews the church says are carved with West African Arabic script, one of the earliest forms of writing.

The church’s website says the National Historic Landmark was also a stop along the Underground Railroad.