With an initial license by the Baptists to preach in Georgia in 1773, George Leile (African American and emancipated slave) played an important role in the founding of the church. He started preaching to slaves on plantations along the Savannah River and over the years, he attracted new members and baptized them.
When the Revolutionary War started in 1778, Leile made his way to the British-occupied city of Savannah, making sure of his security behind British lines. The British had offered at that point freedom to slaves who escaped their rebel masters. Some people left but not Andrew Bryan, who was converted by Leile’s preaches. Despite the Episcopal persecution, he organized other slaves in the Savannah area. He proclaimed himself the first pastor and led the First African Baptist Church to official recognition with 67 members.
It took about 50 years for the congregation to grow to 2,417 members (under Marshall) but even though it looked like a positive aspect, it was actually negative because this had a serious split over doctrinal issues that took years to restore. People disagreed with most of his ideas and that made him found a new congregation that kept the name of First African Baptist, located in Franklin Square. Since then, the place has had modifications but the most important part is that nowadays, there is a museum opened for everybody that is interested in the church's history.
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