575 W. Bryan Street
Historic Yamacraw Village
National Historic Register
First Bryan Baptist Church is the oldest continuous African-American Baptist Church in the United States. The present building, designed by John B. Hogg and completed in 1873-1888, sits on land that was once part of a Yamacraw Indian village. The church features stained-glass windows that pay tribute to the founding fathers of the African-American church. A Savannah slave, Andrew Bryan, organized the church in 1788 and served as the first pastor. Five years later, Bryan purchased his freedom and then purchased the present site of the church for "thirty pounds sterling" and the first church building was constructed in 1795.
In 1916, a monument was erected on the church property honoring George Liele, the first Black Baptist Missionary, who trained Andrew Bryan for the ministry. The church unveiled a plaque in January 1979 designating their Historic Landmark status, and in May of that same year, Andrew Bryan became the first African American to be commemorated with a historical marker in Savannah. The marker was erected on land in front of the First Bryan Church.
The church is the subject of a book by Charles J. Elmore, "The History of First Bryan Baptist Church." To purchase a copy, contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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First Bryan Baptist Church