When one thinks about the first missionaries from America they think of Adoniram & Ann Judson who were sent out in 1812. Yet some of the earliest known missionaries are actually David George, Moses Baker, Prince Williams, and George Liele. They were all African Americans who were part of the slave-trade before the United States of America became a nation. George Liele is considered to be America’s first missionary. He chose to leave America in 1782 to start a church in Kingston, Jamaica. This was ten years before William Carey left England for India, and twenty years before Adoniram Judson left America for Burma.
By 1794, he founded the First Baptist Church of Kingston, Jamaica. It is interesting to note that just as the spread of the gospel in New Testament times was due, in part, to persecution, so Liele left the country of his birth for fear of being persecuted (re-enslaved).