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George Leile, a slave who in 1773 was the first African American licensed by the Baptists to preach in Georgia, played a part in the founding of the Savannah church by converting some of its early members.His initial licensing as a Baptist was to preach to slaves on plantations along the Savannah River, in Georgia and South Carolina.In 1832, the congregation had a serious split over doctrinal issues that took years to resolve.Some members felt that Marshall was too taken by the new ideas of Rev. Marshall and more than 2,600 members left to found a congregation that kept the name of First African Baptist.
Over the next few years, Leile converted and baptized slaves in the area.It has since been continuously occupied by First African Baptist.The congregation at Bryan Street, numbering fewer than 200, kept the facility built under Andrew Bryan and took the name Third Baptist Church.It was a turn on though, to do it in front of strangers! Front view image of First African Baptist Church from History of the First African Baptist Church, From its Organization, January 20th, 1788, to July 1st, 1888. Love First African Baptist Church, located in Savannah, Georgia claims to be derived from the first black Baptist congregation in North America.