In 1896 Deacon Jonathan Fechter showed up for church in his bare feet.
He was disciplined by the other deacons.
Our story takes place in Donegal, PA in November.
Deacon Johnathan Fechter, of the congregational church of Donegal township, Butler county, shocked the members of the congregation, last Sunday, by walking into the meeting in his bare feet. Deacon Fechter is considered one of the ultra-respectable members of the church, and is not prone to laugh at a joke, let alone participate in one.
Taking his seat, Deacon Fechter wore his usual solemn expression and sang as loudly as if the cold was not making his toes turn blue. After the service he was waited on by the minister and his fellow deacons as to his strange conduct.
After that meeting, the rest of the deacons decided they just had to discipline him.
Was it because of the bare feet?
Deacon Fetcher was barefooted in church because he’d bet a friend that William Jennings Bryan would win the presidency that year, but it was won instead by McKinley. Going barefoot to church was the payoff.
But you can’t have pious people like deacons making bets. So they just had to discipline him.
Bare feet? Worthy of comment; not worthy of discipline.