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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, who was a mixture of black and white. Andrew 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 colonist in religious matters and to support the religious needs of Natives and Blacks. 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 a man named 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 services were interrupted constantly by the whites. Bryan was accused of plotting of a rebellion, so he was beaten and thrown in jail. Sampson was also thrown 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 Justice of the Inferior Court of Chatham County and it resulted in Bryan and Samson being found innocent and released.

After they were released, Bryan went back preaching at Jonathan Bryan's barn from sunrise to sunset.  While he was 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 then became his congregation.   Jonathan Bryan died and left Andrew Bryan 95 pound of 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 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 Savannah River Baptist Association.  Andrew Bryan pastored for 24 years and died at the age of 92 on October 6, 1812. 

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