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Emanuel King Love, 1850-1900
History of the First African Baptist Church, from its Organization, January 20th, 1788, to July 1st, 1888. Including the Centennial Celebration, Addresses, Sermons, etc.
Savannah, Ga.: The Morning News Print, 1888.

Summary

Emanuel King Love was a widely known and respected missionary and later the pastor of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. His History of the First African Baptist Church, published in 1888, stands as one of two claims for the right to be called "the first African-American Baptist Church in North America." (The other is made in The First Colored Baptist Church in North America, by James M. Simms). Love gives a detailed report of the rise of the church under Andrew Bryan, as well as his version of the fatal split of 1832, when a majority of communicants followed Andrew C. Marshall to Franklin Square in Savannah, where they retained the name of the First African Church. The portion of the congregation that stayed behind became known as the Third African Church and later the First Bryan Church.

Love provides biographies of the pastors and several important deacons and members of his church, including a particularly illuminating biography of himself and the early years of his administration. He concludes his history with an account of the first centennial celebration of the church, before which the Missionary Baptist Association of Georgia appointed a committee to adjudicate the dispute between the two churches. Pastor James M. Simms of the First Bryan Church refused to appear before the committee, who thus awarded the distinction to the First African Church. Love provides many documents relating to the centenary celebration, including several addresses and sermons delivered there.

Brent Kinser

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