Note: : MARGARET WHITEHURST, NAWSLADY(AT)AOL.COM ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.DUNKARD.AFN: 1GD1-B54 ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.Summum Dunkard Church, Summum (From Summum, probably about 1905, this was printed in the local newspaper. by Mrs. Merlyn Bowman.) ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.The Reformed Baptists, or better known as the Dunkards, have been identified with the history of this township for nearly fifty years. They organized their first church in 1853, but as a people, were known prior to that time. Their first church services were held in the private residences of the early settlers. Uncle John Fitz, now a resident of Astoria, was their first regular pastor. Among the first members of the church were: Jesse Danner, John Fitz and wife, Samuel Falkenstine and wife, Mrs. Susan Stambaugh, and probably others whose names we have not been able to learn. Their first church edifice was erected in 1867. Since then among the regular pastors we notice Solomon Hamm, Jesse Danner, Joseph Binger, John Fitz, David Miller, Cyrus Bucher, Jonas Beck. From a membership of about 100 when the first church was built, the membership has increased until they are the most numerous of any denomination in this part of the county, and they have a number of church buildings in this and adjoining townships. Among the first deacons were Henry Danner , Daniel Keller and John Schisler, and we believe all three are living. ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.As a class of citizens the Dunkards differ from organizations of the orthodox church in their religious views and church creeds. Their ideas of the ordinance of baptism differ from other denominations, as they believe in the immersion of the candidate three times, instead of once. They hold annual and semi-annual love feasts, or lamb's suppers, to which everyone is invited and one of the creeds is feet washing, the brethren washing each other's feet, and the sisters doing the same for each other. As a people they believe in helping one another, not only in a religious sense, but financially. The majority of them came here from Pennsylvnia, and are frequently called Pennsylvania Germans. They are industrious. The children are taught to work, the girls often working the in fields as well as the boys. It is a notable fact that when one of these families move here from the east, they soon acquire a good home, even if they are not provided with much ready money. As a rule they are strictly honest, and their word is as good as their bond. Law suits are an uncommon quantity with them. If one of the members goes wrong, he is notified by the proper officers of the church and given an opportunity to make amends. Differences of all kinds among them are settled at their council meetings and do not reach the public. In their domestic life, they set an example that many church organizations could follow to an advantage. Virtue is one of their cardinal principles -- practiced as well as preached. Religion with them is of the practical kind, practiced every day of the week as well as on the Lord's day. They come as near filling the eleventh commandment as any people could. While firm believers in their own church creeds and doctrines, they are not aggressive, believing and practicing that others have a right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. In fact, they attend strictly to their own business, in church matters as well as in business. They are hospitalbe to strangers and charitable to the truly needy, whether they belong to their church or some other, or to none. ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.No one ever heard of a Dunkard in good standing becoming a charge of the county. The church takes care of its own poor and those too old to work, and bury their own dead. In dress they are somewhat similar to the Quakers, or "Friends, as they call themselves. The brethern as a rule wear their beard and hair long. Their clothes are always of the best, plainly made. The sisters, while they go neatly dressed, pay little attentiont to the fashhion. The women, misses and girls all wear white caps at home and at church. Their bonnets are plainly made. Their residences are noted for convenience and cleanliness. Their tables are well supplied with the best of substantial food, which they always are ready to divide with the hungry. The men take very little interest in politics, or at least no active part, but they generally attend the elections and vote their own convictions. ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.The majority of the Dunkards are engaged in agricultural pursuits. Their farms are models of what a farm ought to be. They believe in large and well-equipped barns and you will seldom see a Dunkard farm without one or two large barns and sheds for farm implements, which they seldom leave exposed to the elements. Their farms are generally dvivded into a number of small fields, as they invariably plant a variety of crops, so that if one thing fails they have something else to fall back on. They are noted for their excellent gardens, and are the first in the market with vegetables and small fruits. Their livestock are always well taken care of and you will not see a Dunkard with a poor animal of any kind on his farm. The resident pastor at Summum is Rev. Heltzer, who has a number of able assistants, such men as Rev. Conrad Fitz and others we have named.
Note: ! Copyright 1984-2017 FamilyHart, Inc (A Nonprofit Corporation) -.BIRTH
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