May 20, 1775.  George Liele  was formally ordained, the first Black Baptist in America to be so.  A slave in South Carolina, Liele  was freed shortly after the beginning of the Revolution .   He supported the British in the war for independence, and after the war, migrated to Jamaica in 1783.  The following year he established the first Baptist church there which he named the Ethiopian Baptist Church.  Liele also established a school in Jamaica.  Deborah Van Broekhoven, ABHS’s Director Emeritus, is one of the editors of a George Liele’s Life and Legacy.  A portrait of Liele  by Averett Shannon hangs in the Reading Room at ABHS.

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