bullet Andrew (d. 1779)

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Saturday, March 13, 1779

Andrew the Moor was born in Ibo in the unexplored part of Africa and was circumcised when he was 8 days old, according to the local custom. His name was Ofodobendo Wooma and as a child he was sold from one place to another until 1741 when he was shipped to New York where he was named York and bought by a Jew who wanted to sell him in Madeira. York complained about this to several neighbors who told him that they could not help him and that he should ask God for help. He asked how he should pray and they taught him the Lord’s Prayer. That evening he knelt down again and said: "O Lord, our neighbors say that you are very good and that you will give everyone what he requests of you. If You will help me find a good master in this city then I will love You." That day his master offered him to Mr. Noble, in whose debt he was. He [York] was brought to him [Noble], but the latter refused him since he appeared to be too weak. When this occurred a second time, York told the neighbors that Mr. Noble would buy him if he were stronger. They said to him that there was no better master in New York than Mr. Noble and that he should pray to God that he would be disposed to buy him. York then prayed again as above and promised God to love Him if he would arrange it so that Mr. Noble would buy him. The next day he and one other were taken on for a 4 week trial, at the end of which Mr. Noble bought him. At that time the first [Moravian] Brethren came to New York and lodged with Mr. Noble. They told York about the Savior who had shed his blood also for the Negroes [as well as for the whites], and he tried faithfully to understand. Is it true that He also loves him? And he prayed diligently in his room just as he saw and heard his master do, who also sent him to school. Within 6 months York had learned to read and he read diligently in the New Testament and in other good books. He began to think that he had no self-worth and he decided himself to put an end to his sinful life. As he stood in an open window ready to throw himself out he felt as if someone were pulling him back, and thereby he came to himself and asked God for forgiveness of his sins. On the 9th of January 1746 he came to Bethlehem and was baptized on February 15th and Mr. Noble gave him to Br. Spangenberg. In 1762 he was married and produced 3 children who have gone before him [in death]. He lived a pleasant and blessed life [literally: followed a pleasant and blessed course] in the congregation and his election by grace was great and important to him. In his [final] illness he often sighed: "O my dear Saviour come soon & fetch me." That occurred on the 13th of March in the evening. He was buried on the 16th.

Transcription and translation by Otto Dreydoppel, Jr.

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