When I first met Levi Young, I was not impressed. I met him in the minutes of the Evangelical Mennonites. I knew him by his German name, Levi Jung. He was just another name mentioned with many others in those minutes.
When I next met Levi, I was impressed. I had gone to the Schwenkfelder Library in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, to look into the materials of Dr. Jonas Schultz, a physician who was listed as a preacher among the Evangelical Mennonites. I found the 1863 diary of Levi Young among the collection of his papers. At first, I did not make the connection. As I sat with the diary in hand, I remembered the name Levi Jung and knew that Levi Young was the anglicized version. When I opened the diary, I realized they were one and the same. This Levi was one of us who now make up the Bible Fellowship Church.
I read on eagerly. I confess that I read diaries. Readers of diaries look through windows - nothing indecent, mind you - through windows into history. Diaries tell us what people were experiencing and thinking and living. When I read Levi's diary, I realized that a window into our own history had been opened to us.
I have enjoyed looking through this window. It is more than a window into our history. It is a window into the soul of the Bible Fellowship Church. Levi Young came to the Evangelical Mennonites because he was a kindred spirit. His diary gives us the opportunity to know what that spirit was.