First Bryan Baptist Church

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Just 12 years after the Declaration of Independence, five slaves under the leadership of Rev. Andrew Bryan started what we know today as the Mother Church of Black Baptist. The site where the present church stands now, was purchased in 1793 by Andrew Bryan, a former slave who also purchased his freedom. This parcel of land that Bryan sits on is the oldest continuous parcel of real estate owned by black people in the United States. The first structure was erected in 1794 and rebuilt by members in 1873. They used the wooded beans from the first sanctuary as foundation for the current church building that stands today. A commemorative park stands in front of the church that has been a part of special gatherings of African American for over 200 years. Today First Bryan stands as a living monument in the history of African American's. Five slaves had the vision to believe in their power of self determination. The church has countless archives of bravery by church members who hid church valuables from Union soldiers during and after the Civil War. First Bryan ministers including Garrison Frazier and Ulysses Houston attended the nearby meeting of local black leaders with Gen. Sherman in January of 1865 that resulted in the Special Field Orders No. 15, (40 acres and mule) promising confiscated coastal land to free slaves. Parishioners worked effortlessly to purchase a 1856 Knauff Pipe organ for the church. The Knauff was purchased for $1,400 and is now valued at $1.4 million. This organ is a rare instrument and one of the last remaining organs of its type in the United States. There are only (9) Knauffs in the US and the only one in the south is held at First Bryan Baptist Church. The first Sunday School for African Americans was organized at the church in 1826 by Mr. Lowell Mason. Bryan also has a museum that houses the history of African Americans in the State of Georgia since 1737. The epic history of the church is immeasurable with so many more stories to be told. The Knauff Pipe Organ Produced by Alex Bryant and Anthony Maxwell


575 W. Bryan Street, Savannah, GA 31401
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