Emanuel King Love was a widely known and respected
missionary and later the pastor of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. His History of the First African
Baptist Church, published in 1888, stands as one of two claims for the right to be called "the first African-American Baptist
Church in North America." (The other is made in The First Colored Baptist Church in North America, by James M. Simms). Love
gives a detailed report of the rise of the church under Andrew Bryan, as well as his version of the fatal split of 1832, when
a majority of communicants followed Andrew C. Marshall to Franklin Square in Savannah, where they retained the name of the
First African Church. The portion of the congregation that stayed behind became known as the Third African Church and later
the First Bryan Church.
Love provides biographies of the pastors and several
important deacons and members of his church, including a particularly illuminating biography of himself and the early years
of his administration. He concludes his history with an account of the first centennial celebration of the church, before
which the Missionary Baptist Association of Georgia appointed a committee to adjudicate the dispute between the two churches.
Pastor James M. Simms of the First Bryan Church refused to appear before the committee, who thus awarded the distinction to
the First African Church. Love provides many documents relating to the centenary celebration, including several addresses
and sermons delivered there.