The First Colored Baptist Church in Georgia
By Albert H. Newman, 1894
The first colored Baptist church in Georgia was organized in Savannah, with the help of Abraham Marshall, in 1788. The church was gathered through the labors of George Leile (or Sharp), a remarkable colored man, who had been converted in Burke County about 1774 through the preaching of Matthew Moore, the loyalist. Leile fled to Jamaica at the close of the war. One of his converts, Andrew Bryan, took up the work. These colored Baptists were cruelly persecuted, and displayed considerable heroism in their devotion to the faith. By 1788 persecution had ceased. In four years the membership had risen from eighty to two hundred and fifty, while there were three hundred and fifty others who were applicants for membership. Nearly all the churches doubtless had a considerable contingent of colored members at this time.
[From Albert Henry Newman, A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States, 1894, p. 320. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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