Chapter

If Tombstones Could Talk: The Evolution of the Black Church in Savannah

Andrew Billingsley

in Mighty Like a River

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161793
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849512 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161793.003.0003
If Tombstones Could Talk: The Evolution of the Black Church in Savannah

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A study of the historical evolution of the black church as agent of social reform could have no more authentic a setting than Savannah, Georgia. It is where the oldest continuous black congregation in all of North America can be found. And throughout its 225-year history (since 1773), the First African Baptist Church repeatedly has been drawn into the community to deal with social issues of a nonreligious nature. The Laurel Grove South Cemetery, located at the end of Victory Drive on the western edge of the city, is discussed. The contributions of Rev. George Leile, Rev. Andrew Bryan, Rev. Henry C. Cunningham and Rev. Andrew Marshall to the evolution of the black church in Savannah are described in detail.

Keywords: black church; Savannah; social reform; First African Baptist Church; Laurel Grove South Cemetery; Rev. George Leile; Rev. Andrew Bryan; Rev. Henry C. Cunningham; Rev. Andrew Marshall

Chapter.  3828 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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