Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, GA
The colonial charter of Savannah prohibited Roman Catholics from settling in Savannah. The English trustees feared that Catholics would be more loyal to the Spanish authorities in Florida than to the English government in Georgia. This prohibition faded shortly after the American Revolution. The church's congregation was reorganized about 1796. French Catholic émigrés established the first church in 1799 when they arrived from Haiti after slave rebellions began on that Caribbean island in 1791.
A second church was dedicated in 1839 as the number of Catholics increased in Savannah. Construction began on the new Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 1873 and was completed with the addition of the spires in 1896. The structure was nearly destroyed by fire in 1898 but through diligent effort was rebuilt by 1899. Today the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah includes ninety counties in Middle and Southern Georgia, including such cities as Columbus and Macon.