Inventory of the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia, 1871 - 1981

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: George Liele, a slave preacher who ministered along the Savannah River, formed the First African Baptist congregation sometime in the early 1770s. During the Revolutionary War, Liele left the United States and appointed Andrew Bryan, also a slave, to lead the church. Bryan built the first church in 1795. In 1833 a division split the congregation into the Bryant Church and the First African Baptist. The present structure of the First African Baptist Church at Franklin Square was erected in 1859.
The records in this collection consists of articles and clippings regarding First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. The collection also contains photocopied minutes from Zion Baptist Association meetings (1871-1872 and 1874) held at First African Baptist as well as their rule book and constitution (1921). Of note is a booklet (1981) regarding an academic conference titled, "The Black Church in Savannah," discussing the impact of the black church on the Savannah community.
Title: First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia, 1871 - 1981
Creator: First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1022
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: .25 linear feet
(1 archival box)

Historical Note

George Liele, a slave preacher who ministered along the Savannah River, formed the First African Baptist congregation sometime in the early 1770s. During the Revolutionary War, Liele left the United States and appointed Andrew Bryan, also a slave, to lead the church. Bryan built the first church in 1795. In 1833 a division split the congregation into the Bryant Church and the First African Baptist. The present structure of the First African Baptist Church at Franklin Square was erected in 1859.


Collection Overview

The records in this collection consists of articles and clippings regarding First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. The collection also contains photocopied minutes from Zion Baptist Association meetings (1871-1872 and 1874) held at First African Baptist as well as their rule book and constitution (1921). Of note is a booklet (1981) regarding an academic conference titled, "The Black Church in Savannah," discussing the impact of the black church on the Savannah community.

Collection Arrangement

1. Historical Information

2. Administration and Organizational Records

3. Programs and Publications



Subject Headings

  • African American Baptists -- Georgia -- Savannah.
  • African American churches -- Georgia -- Savannah.
  • African Americans -- Georgia -- Savannah -- History.
  • African Americans -- Georgia -- Savannah -- Religion.
  • Baptist associations -- Georgia.
  • Baptists -- Georgia -- Savannah -- History.
  • Church records and registers -- Georgia -- Savannah.
  • First African Baptist Church (Savannah, Ga.)
  • Georgia -- History -- 1865-
  • Slaves -- Georgia -- Savannah -- Religious life.
  • Zion Baptist Association.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Historical Information, undated.

Box 1   Folder 1
Brief Histories of the First African Baptist Church by Bob Lee, Wanda Yancey and Lawrence McKinney
Also contains brochures regarding the church and its museum as well as a calendar with biographical information of the pastors.

2. Administration and Organizational Records, 1871-1921.

Box 1   Folder 2
"Minutes of the Annual Sessions of the Zion Baptist Associations," 1871-1872 and 1874
Photocopies contains information regarding black churches throughout the Savannah area.
Box 1   Folder 3
"Constitution and Rules of Order of the First African Baptist Church," 1921
Pamphlet describes the rules and by-laws of the church.

3. Programs and Publications, 1940s-1981.

Box 1   Folder 4
Anniversary Program of First African Baptist Church, 1981
Includes list of officers, members and various church organizations; also church and NAACP donation envelopes, circa 1940s.
Box 1   Folder 5
Booklet of Essays "The Impact of the Black Church on the Educational and Cultural Lifestyles of Local Communities in Savannah, Georgia," undated
Delivered at a conference held at the First African Baptist Church with topics on the history of the First African Baptist, black education in Savannah, Catholicism among the black community, and black women in the church. Churches discussed at the conference include West Broad Street Seventh Day Adventist, St. Philip African Methodist Episcopal, First Congregational, Tremont Temple Baptist, Asbury United Methodist, Butler Presbyterian and Beth-Eden Baptist.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Lance Brodrero, June 2006

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010

Edited by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010

Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection.

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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