By Andrew Billingsley
During the background of the African American humans there was no more advantageous source for overcoming adversity than the black church. From its function in prime a bunch of loose Blacks to shape a colony in Sierra Leone within the 1790s to supporting ex-slaves after the Civil conflict, and from taking part in significant roles within the Civil Rights circulate to providing neighborhood outreach courses in American towns this day, black church buildings were the focus of social switch of their groups. in response to huge study over a number of years, Mighty Like a River is the 1st complete account of the way black church buildings have assisted in shaping American society. a professional in African American tradition, Andrew Billingsley surveys approximately 1000 black church buildings around the state, together with its oldest, the 1st African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. those black church buildings, whose roots expand again to antebellum instances, have periodically faced social, monetary, and political difficulties dealing with the African American group. Mighty Like a River addresses such questions as: How frequent and powerful is the group job of black church buildings? What are the styles of actions being undertaken this present day? How do activist church buildings confront such difficulties as relatives instability, formative years improvement, AIDS and different well-being matters, and deal with the aged? With profiles of the amazing black heroes and heroines who helped create the activist church, and a compelling time table for increasing the black church's position in society at huge, Mighty Like a River is an inspirational, visionary, and definitive account of the topic.
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Additional info for Mighty Like a River: The Black Church and Social Reform
All three churches showed strong membership. By 1857, nearly 25 years after the schism some ﬁve years before the outbreak of the Civil War, the First African Baptist Church had 1,137 members, the Second African Baptist Church had 1,012, members, and the Third African Baptist Church had 241 members (see Table 2). If the Rev. George Leile was the hero of the ﬁrst crisis, the capture and occupation of Savannah in 1779 by the British, and if his understudy and successor, the Rev. Andrew Bryan, was the hero of the second crisis, the evacuation of the British in 1782, then the Rev.
They have thus over the years come to symbolize the concept of ‘‘three in one’’ so central to the Christian faith. To understand the contribution of these men to the evolution of the black church in Savannah, let us ﬁrst consider the role of the Rev. George Leile, whose legacy they represent. Rev. George Leile George Leile was born into slavery in 1750 in Virginia. In his youth he was sold downriver to a rice plantation owner near Savannah who was a deacon in the white Baptist Church. Leile once wrote of his early development, ‘‘I was informed by both white and Black people, that my father was the only Black person who knew the Lord in a spiritual way in that country.
Later the Sunbury Association appointed a distinguished committee of black and white Baptists that recommended that the three African Baptist churches be accepted into the slaveholding authority in good standing. A group of 155 members under the leadership of Deacon Adam Arguile Johnson, who had been a long and close associate of Marshall’s, withdrew from First African Baptist and were given letters of dismissal to form the Third African Baptist Church. They were also given the original building purchased by the Rev.
Mighty Like a River: The Black Church and Social Reform by Andrew Billingsley