Thursday, October 09, 2008


The early Brethren were very much opposed to members marrying one who was not a member of the Brethren. This was based on a very literal interpretation of 2 Corinthians 6:4, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Rolland F. Flory in his book Lest We Forget and Tales of Yester-Years, Volume III, recalls the following story of his brother Samuel.

My father, Elder John Flory, was a strong believer in this for members of the church and especially for members of his own household. Samuel, my older brother, was keeping company with a young lady who was not a member of the church. On one Monday morning I remember quite well that a final ultimatum was given by father to either drop his relationship with the young lady or seek another place of residence.

Brother Samuel complied and soon went to Manchester College for a winter term. Here he became acquainted with a member of the church. Their acquaintanceship led them, after several months, into marriage and together they live a happy married life for over fifty years. Both contributed much to the welfare of the church.

About the time of this incident, Elder William R. Guthrie was conducting services.... I remember quite well a conversation that took place at the morning meal when, after the morning devotions, Brother Guthrie remarked, "John, you should not be too harsh on Samuel. You no doubt know that when I was married my bride was not a member of the church but she became a member soon after our marriage and has become a faithful Dunker preacher's helpmate."

Flory then adds this postscript to the story: The young lady who was rejected as the wife of Samuel later became the wife of his first cousin, united with the church and became a true and faithful member of her adopted church.

Source: Lest We Forget and Tales of Yester-Years, Vol. III, Rolland F. Flory