Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Beta Phi Lambda Chapter, was officially founded on the auspicious day of Friday, November 8, 1940, within the city of Savannah, Georgia. The chapter's establishment arose from the collective vision of several distinguished Alpha brothers who, during the 1930s, were prominent figures residing in Savannah. Recognizing the need for a local presence of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., they embarked on a mission to create a chapter within their community. At the time, the nearest chapter was the Alpha Chi Lambda chapter, situated in Augusta, Georgia.
In 1937, these dedicated Alpha brothers commenced their regular gatherings at Coconut Grove, a reputable night-club owned and operated by Mrs. Mamie Steele Cox and her husband. This esteemed venue featured live performances by local jazz bands and was located on Ogeechee Road (currently occupied by Planet Fitness). These monthly meetings were instrumental in organizing the establishment of the Beta Phi Lambda chapter. For over three years, the Alpha brothers of Savannah diligently convened these gatherings, maintaining close contact with the fraternity's central organization and seeking invaluable guidance and mentorship from their counterparts in neighboring chapters. Among the notable individuals who extended their support and expertise to the charter members were Brothers H. Councill Trenholm of Montgomery, Alabama, and B.T. Harvey of Atlanta, Georgia, who traveled to Savannah to collaborate with the nascent chapter. The chapter's early initiatives included the introduction of the Christmas Savings Club in December of 1940, an essay contest and scholarship fund designed to benefit deserving students, a Christmas basket giveaway, and two social events, one of which served as a fundraising endeavor for the chapter's activities.
In 1945, the chapter initiated the Annual Debutante Presentation and Ball, an event of great significance wherein six outstanding young women of Savannah, who had just embarked on their college journeys, were formally introduced to society. The wives of the fraternity members assumed the role of "matrons" or chaperones for these young debutantes. Since its inception in 1945, this signature event has been faithfully hosted by the chapter every year.
As the Beta Phi Lambda chapter has evolved over the years, it has cemented its role as an indispensable component of the Savannah community. The chapter actively contributes to the betterment of humanity through a diverse array of national and local initiatives, including but not limited to Mega-Genesis, Project Alpha, March of Dimes, A Voteless People is a Hopeless People, Brother's Keeper Initiatives, A Community Garden, A City-Wide Mentoring Program spanning numerous schools serving nearly 500 students, as well as Team Up 2 Clean Up, among other impactful endeavors.
The Beta Phi Lambda chapter remains steadfast in its commitment to uplifting the community and advancing the principles of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. It continues to be a beacon of Leadership, Service, and Excellence within Savannah and beyond.
BΦΛ Charter Members
Pearl Brother M. G. Haynes
Pearl Brother. Dr. James Wilson
Pearl Brother A.J. Clement
Pearl Brother. Dr. Richard Moore
Pearl Brother B.H. Crutcher
Pearl Brother Frank J. Gordon
Pearl Brother Rev. John Adams
Pearl Brother W. G. Dixon
Pearl Brother W.T. Alexander
Pearl Brother Dean Mohr
Pearl Brother Rev. C. H. Richmond
Pearl Brother A. A. Alstan