In the 1850s, they constructed a new sanctuary facility on Franklin Square.
It has since been continuously occupied by First African Baptist.
Participants in the early Civil Rights Movement in Savannah held weekly meetings at the church.
His initial licensing as a Baptist was to preach to slaves on plantations along the Savannah River, in Georgia and South Carolina.
Leile's master, a Baptist deacon, had freed him before the American Revolutionary War.
George was appointed an elder and preacher, and attracted nearly 30 members over the next few years.
After the Revolutionary War started, in 1778 Leile made his way to the British-occupied city of Savannah, to ensure his security behind British lines.
He called people together as the church's first pastor.