This Sunday in Baptist History
Andrew Marshall was born a slave in South Carolina. His first “master” was John Houston, the colonial governor of Georgia. Even though he was promised freedom upon the death of Houston, the promise was not kept and he was sold, becoming the property of Judge Clay, who became a United States Senator. Traveling with Clay, Andrew met George Washington on several occasions, and when the President visited Savannah, Andrew was honored to be his temporary personal servant.
Later, Andrew Marshall not only purchased his physical freedom, but he was purchased from the penalty of his sins through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1785 he joined Savanna’s Second Baptist Church, becoming its pastor ten years later. Under his ministry the congregation grew to more than 3,000. When the church thought it best to divide the congregation, Marshall became pastor of the First African Baptist Church, where he remained until his death on this day (December 8) in 1856 at over ninety years of age.
Elder Andrew Marshal, despite a limited education read good material and studied hard to become the most effective pastor possible. He had a deep, sonorous voice to go along with a natural ability to communicate. During his long ministry in Savanna he baptized more than 4,000 converts. He also preached in many of the foremost Baptist churches of his day, ministering as far away as the First Baptist church of New York. His piety and wisdom was so well-known that he was invited to speak to the Georgia State Legislature.
The man was so well-admired and loved, it is said that at his funeral the procession from the church to the cemetery was more than a mile long.