Histories

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 ... 351» Next»     » Slide Show

The Conversion of Christian Fike from the Amish to the Brethren Faith

Verbatim account from Allegheny passage : churches and families, West Marva District, Church of the Brethren, 1752-1990. Emmert F Bittinger. Camden, Me. : Penobscot Press, 1991, pgs 497-498

Christian Fike, II, moved near to Meyersdale, Pa., and it is said that he was a devout Amishman. The story of his conversion to the Dunker faith is recorded by his great grandson, Elder Tobias Fike, who kept church records and family histories in his "Record Book" (19-20). The story is a classic in Dunker influence and winsomeness. It is repeated here with only slight modifications from the way Elder Fike wrote it down a hundred years ago.

Christian Fike had married a Dunker girl, Christina Livengood, the daughter of former Amishman Peter Livengood, who himself became a Dunker elder. It was by her devoted life and the influence of her father that Christian was won to the faith of the Brethren. His change from the Amish to the Brethren was caused "in this wise."

Christina had asked him to buy her a pair of shoes so that she could walk to a Love Feast to be held some six miles away, but he refused to do so. In fact, he did what he could do to hinder her from going. On the day of the Love Feast, he hired several workers for a "log rolling," so as to keep her at home to cook for them. Early in the morning, she began doing the work, preparing the meals, and placing them on the table. And having done all she could for the workers, she started for the Love Feast, walking barefoot all the way. As the services lasted all afternoon and well into the evening, she had to walk home after dark. The next morning, after her husband learned what she had done, he said that such devotion to Christ was too much for him to stand. He soon united with his wife in the faith of the Brethren.

Author notes:
A log rolling was a cooperative activity among neighbors and was required to clear the land. After the downed trees had dried out and were ready to burn, men with teams of horses and cant hooks would gather to assist in dragging the logs together. Some might be used to build a house or barn. Others would be rolled into great piles. After piling, they would be set on fire to burn for days and sometimes weeks.

Christian's refusal to encourage his wife to attend her own Communion was not out of malice. The Dunkers had made such strong inroads on the Amish membership during the preceding generation that the Amish were very sensitive about the issue. Likely, Christian had hoped that his wife would become Amish. Christina proved not only to be a faithful Dunker but a persuasive one!


Owner/SourceEmmert F Bittinger
Linked toChristian Fike, Jr.; Christiana Livengood; Peter Livengood

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 ... 351» Next»     » Slide Show