Liele, George - Timeline Biography
1750 - 1828
George Liele, born a slave, was the first black Baptist convert in Georgia. Liele's master, himself a Baptist, freed him so that he could more effectively evangelize other slaves at plantations near his own. His converts, including David George, formed the seed group of the first black Baptist church in America at Silver Bluff, South Carolina in 1773. During the Revolutionary War, Liele's former master died and the young evangelist moved to British-controlled Savannah to avoid re-enslavement. After the war ended, Liele paid for passage to Jamaica by indenturing himself to a British officer. Settling in the colonial capital Kingston, Liele built a church of more than 400 by 1791 despite resistance from the colonial authorities, making Liele the father of a strong black Baptist tradition in two nations.
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Religious GroupsBaptist Family: Other ARDA Links
Baptist Family: Religious Family Tree
EventsSilver Bluff Baptist Church
Related Dictionary TermsChristianity, Protestantism
George Leile portrait- Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
Silver Bluff Baptist Church- Internet Archive- from the History of the Negro Church by Carter G. Woodson
An online version of Edward Holmes, Jr.'s "George Liele: Negro Slavery's Prophet of Deliverance" published in The Baptist Quarterly in October 1964. Thanks to Miles Mullin for pointing me towards Holmes's article.
Web Page ContributorPaul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History