Samuel Wier was born in Virginia in 1812 and at the age of 12 was sold as a slave to Andrew McClure. When the McClure's son was killed in a fall from his horse, the family vowed to change their way and to join the Brethren. The church refused to accept the McClure's because they owned a slave, and so they agreed to set Samuel free.
This so impressed Wier that he was drawn to the Lord and baptized into the fellowship of the Brethren in 1843 by Elder Peter Nead. Because their neighbors were so disturbed by Wier's release from slavery, the Brethren decided to escort him north for his own safety. He was taken to Southern Ohio, where he was accepted into the home of Thomas and Sarah Major, one of the early families to settle in that region.
Wier was elected to the ministry in 1849, even though some Brethren insisted his ministry be only among black people.
Source: A Self-Instruction Guide Through Brethren History, Donald E. Durnbaugh