National Register Travel Itinerary--Georgia-Florida


4) First Bryan and First African Baptist Churches

Stained GlassIn 1788 Andrew Bryan, a former slave, organized one of the earliest black Baptist churches in North America. Bryan began preaching while a slave in Chatham County. In 1788 he purchased his freedom and formed a congregation which was chartered under the name of First Bryan Baptist Church. This congregation was significantly involved in the affairs of the Savannah black community. In 1793 Bryan obtained the lot where the First Bryan Baptist Church (constructed in 1873) now stands. A dispute over doctrine in 1832 caused a schism, resulting in two congregations. The congregations of the First Bryan Baptist Church and the First African Baptist Church, constructed in 1859, are direct descendants of Bryan's original congregation.

Georgia Map

First Bryan is at 575 West Bryan Street and First African at 23 Montgomery Street in Savannah.

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