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Fri, 08.16.1737

Andrew Bryan, Minister born

Andreew Bryan

*The birth of Andrew Bryan is celebrated on this date in 1737.  He was a Black minister and Church administrator. 

Andrew Bryan was born in the small town of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Bryan was born on a plantation called Brampton, owned by Jonathan Bryan. Brampton was known as a productive rice plantation. His father was a man named Caesar, a mixture of black and white. Bryan served as a coachman and a body servant to Jonathan. Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S.P.G.) was an organization that cared for British colonists in religious matters and support the religious needs of Indigenous and Black people. The S.P.G. organization influenced Bryan to become a religious leader.

He had a brother by the name of Sampson Bryan. Hannah Bryan was the wife of Bryan. It was believed that he had a daughter as well.  He married a woman named Hannah. Bryan converted to Christianity through the preaching of George Liele. After Liele left Savannah for Jamaica, Bryan began to preach.  Sampson was the first deacon of the church. Bryan would preach along the Savannah River. Liele went away to Jamaica, and Bryan took over the churches that Liele would preach at, which caused an expansion in Bryan's congregation. One of these locations was owned by Edward Davis in Yamacraw.

Edward Davis encouraged Bryan to build a religious place in the village of Yamacraw. The gatherings got so big that the white community thought it was a plot of rebellion, and the whites constantly interrupted services. Bryan was accused of plotting a rebellion and was beaten and thrown in jail. Sampson was also thrown in jail along with Bryan. He was noted for enduring the suffering as Jesus had done.  Jonathan Bryan and other plantation owners protested the arrest of Andrew Bryan. The case was analyzed by the Justice of the Inferior Court of Chatham County, resulting in Bryan and Samson being found innocent and released.

After they were released, Bryan returned to preaching at Jonathan Bryan's barn from sunrise to sunset.  While preaching on the Brampton plantation, his following continued to increase.  Several prominent white males supported his preaching.  In 1777 Bryan and his wife were baptized along with some other slaves. Abraham Marshall and Jesse Peters baptized 45 people that followed Bryan's teachings. Those 45 people regularly organized and then became his congregation.   Jonathan Bryan died and left Andrew Bryan 95 pounds sterling. Bryan used 50 pounds to buy his freedom from William Bryan, Jonathan Bryan's brother.  Bryan was then ordained and became the pastor of the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia.

On the first of June 1790, with 27 pounds of sterling, he bought the property from Thomas Gibbons that became a place for a new church.  The congregation grew to about seven hundred by 1800. William Bryan and James Whitfield bought land for Bryan and his family to live on. In 1805 the First African Baptist Church, Savannah Baptist church, and Newington Baptist Church became the Savannah River Baptist Association.  Andrew Bryan pastored for 24 years and died at 92 on October 6, 1812. 

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