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Some of these pastors were former slaves
 The Ogeechee Baptist Church was formed in Savannah, Georgia on Jan. 02, 1803 with 250 members which was the third black Baptist church instituted in America.  The first black Baptist church in America was the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, the results of the ministry of Abraham Marshall and Jesse Peter ((black), who instituted the Kiokee Baptist Church in Appling, GA.  The pastor at Savannah was George Lisle (black), who eventually went as a missionary to Jamaica.  Some of these pastors were former slaves, like Lisle and John Jasper who had been given freedom by their masters.  However, when Rev. Henry Cunningham was called to the First African Baptist Church of Philadelphia (the sixth black church in America), his master wouldn’t release him.  Henry had been a deacon in the 2nd Baptist church in Savannah (black) and later served as its pastor before being called to the Philadelphia church.  Some members asked his master to let him go north to raise money to purchase his freedom but his master refused without surety, but there was no way that Henry could provide such a sum.  But thank God, two faithful members of 2nd church, who were free-born, stepped forward and gave themselves into servitude as surety for Henry.  The money was raised, the men were released and joined their beloved pastor in Philadelphia and formed the nucleus of the First African Baptist Church in Philadelphia.  “Greater love hath no man than this…”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 3-4.

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