Cornerstones of Black History--Andrew Bryan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/17/03

Cornerstones of Black History--Andrew Bryan

Andrew Bryan was born a slave, but that didn't stop him from becoming a great man, and his contribution to the world started right here in the Low Country and Coastal Empire.

In 1737, Bryan lived near Charleston, South Carolina. In the late 18th century, he bought his freedom and built a tiny shack along the Savannah River, where he preached to several hundred slaves.

After becoming a fully ordained, minister, Rev. Bryan bought property for $150, and in 1788, he built the first African Baptist Church in Georgia, and probably the United States. He called it the Bryan Street African Baptist Church. Despite the many obstacles facing him and his followers, they risked everything to hold the church together, because it was the only place they could gather and feel some sense of freedom.

Reported by: Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com

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