Strangely enough, the story of black Baptists in America has not been told from the standpoint of its tremendous spiritual momentum through the ages of American history. Of inestimable importance is the fact that black Baptists were distinctive and eminent in the development of American Christianity. This book objectively documents this tradition as a unique trend within that experience. Leroy Fitts aims to tell the black Baptist story as a part of—though unique—the general history of American Christianity, noting social, economic, and political influences on the development of the tradition.
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“Separate churches could not have been born during slavery if nobody had become dissatisfied with their religious experiences in white churches.” (Page 44)
“Long before the organization of black churches and associations, these black plantation preachers labored ardently for the conversion of their race, Generally, black slaves were not permitted to have their own churches, pastors, and preachers. It was the common practice throughout the slave territory to permit them to attend preaching services in the white churches at the time designated under conditions prescribed by their masters. Nevertheless, the spirit of Christianity motivated black preachers to encourage the slaves to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Consequently, these blacks often stole off to the woods, canebrakes, and remote cabins to have preaching and prayer meetings of their own. To be sure, these movements were the antecedents to organized black Baptist churches.” (Pages 31–32)
“The Anabaptists, a sectarian expression of Christianity, paralleled the Protestant Reformation. This movement emphasized believers baptism and the autonomy of each local congregation.” (Page 21)
“The pioneer black missionary and preacher who led indirectly to the establishment of independent black churches was Rev. George Liele.” (Page 33)
“organized January 20, 1788, by Andrew Bryan along with a few slaves to whom he had preached the gospel.” (Page 33)