George Liele, Former Slave Turned Baptist Missionary to Jamaica, Honored With a Day on SBC Calendar

George Liele (circa 1750-1828), a former slave who later became a Baptist missionary to Jamaica. | Screengrab: YouTube/ naaftogether

A former slave who later became a pioneering Baptist missionary to Jamaica has been honored with a day on the Southern Baptist Convention calendar.

The SBC Executive Committee voted Tuesday to mark every first Sunday in February as George Liele Church Planting, Evangelism and Missions Day.

Pastor Fred Luter, who served as the first African American president of the SBC from 2012-2014, celebrated the news of the vote.

“This recognition will introduce the entire SBC to a great missionary who had a tremendous role of spreading the Gospel to slaves who made a decision to be followers of Jesus Christ,” said Luter, the Baptist Press reported Wednesday. “George Liele’s missionary efforts affirmed the saying, ‘Red, yellow, black and white, we are all precious in HIS sight!’”

Pastor Marshal Ausberry, head of the SBC National African American Fellowship, which boasts around 4,000 pastors as members, likewise approved of the vote.

“If I use a basketball term, he was a triple threat, an evangelist, a missionary and church planter. All done under extremely difficult circumstances,” said Ausberry, according to BP.

“If George Liele had a basketball jersey I think we would all be wearing it. He rightfully stands along with the missionary giants (Adonirum) Judson and (William) Carey.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski