In 1832, the congregation had a serious split over doctrinal issues that took years to resolve.Some members felt that Marshall was too taken by the new ideas of Rev. Marshall and more than 2,600 members left to found a congregation that kept the name of First African Baptist.Both founded Baptist congregations in their new locations.Later George and his family migrated to Sierra Leone, where he planted another Baptist church.After the British occupied Savannah, the Patriot master of David George and his followers fled to another area.All the members of the Silver Bluff church went to the city to go behind British lines for freedom. Others were converted by Leile's preaching, including Andrew Bryan and his wife Hannah in 1782.
The congregation at Bryan Street, numbering fewer than 200, kept the facility built under Andrew Bryan and took the name Third Baptist Church.The church organized the first Sunday School for African Americans (endorsed by the Independent Presbyterian Church) on July 26, 1826.By 1830 under Marshall, the congregation of First African Baptist Church had grown to 2,417 members.Bryan led the First African Baptist Church to official recognition with 67 members on January 20, 1788, at their regular meeting place of Brampton's barn, approximately three miles west of Savannah. Abraham Marshall (a European-American minister) and his free black assistant Jesse Peter (who took the name Jesse Galphin. By 1802, Bryan Street renamed itself First African Baptist Church, and two other black congregations were founded: Second African Baptist Church and the Ogeechee (Third) Baptist Church.Galphin was also one of the founders of the Silver Bluff Baptist Church. In 1822, the First Colored Baptist Church and the Second Colored Baptist Church recombined and became the First African Baptist Church.