(c. 1750 – 1828)
 
We’re celebrating black heroes who made history, and I want to introduce you to George Liele, a freed Georgia slave who was one of the most significant figures in the history of Christian missions. He was the first American missionary, and the first Baptist missionary to take the gospel abroad.
 
Liele became a Christian in 1773 when he was twenty-three. Shortly after, he gained his freedom and began preaching for two years in slave quarters around Georgia and South Carolina. In 1775, Liele became the first ordained African American Baptist preacher in America, and he planted First African Baptist Church in 1777, a church that still gathers today.
 
In 1775, Liele became the first ordained African American Baptist preacher in America, and he planted First African Baptist Church in 1777, a church that still gathers today.
 
However, racial persecution caused Liele to flee to Jamaica in 1782. But once there, Liele used this situation as an opportunity to plant a church, preach the gospel to Jamaican slaves, and begin public baptisms. His evangelism brought more persecution, and he was thrown in prison for “agitating slaves.” Eventually, he was acquitted. Nevertheless, he continued to preach, baptize and build the church.
 
Liele’s ministry had a significant spiritual impact on Jamaica, but it also made a social difference as well.
 
By 1814, his missionary efforts helped produce 8,000 Jamaican Baptists, and that number grew to over 20,000 by 1832. Liele’s ministry had a significant spiritual impact on Jamaica, but it also made a social difference as well. By July 31, 1838, slavery was eradicated in Jamaica. Both these feats are a testimony to his legacy, and we should celebrate Liele for his lifelong missionary work.
 
Check out more from Dr. Tony Evans @tonyevans.org

About The Author

Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.


At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ church and school outreach philosophy has been attributed as a catalyst for former President George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, which was his first formal act of office. Dr. Evans seeks to train churches, schools and volunteers in this philosophy, as well as in the functional practicalities, through the National Church Adopt-A-School Initiative which is a ministry underneath the umbrella of The Urban Alternative.


Dr. Evans serves as president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God. His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 850 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 80 countries.


Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets including his legacy work, Oneness Embraced, as well as his vision work, The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books includes, Kingdom Man, A Moment For Your Soul, Marriage Matters, and Victory in Spiritual Warfare.



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