Max I. Reich (1867-1945)

Max I. Reich joined Friends in 1904. It was through the writings of a great evangelical Quaker, Stephen Grellet, that he was introduced to Quakerism, and he became one of the last of the ministers of the evangelical tradition. His son has observed that “his passing seems to mark the close of an era of evangelical fervor.”

The first seventeen years of his life he lived as an orthodox Jew. Then he heard the words, “he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Soon after this he found himself on his knees confessing his belief in Jesus before God. “Immediately upon this confession,” he says, “it seemed as if a great weight had been lifted of my heart and mind and I felt as if the Father himself had come forth and kissed me.” This decision meant a complete break with his family and the religious community in which he had been reared.

His message as a Quaker minister was closely related to his knowledge of Judaism and his personal encounter with Jesus Christ. His ministry was always aimed toward gathering to the Lord, and he knew that the God who seeks to gather all men to himself in Christ is also the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

After he came to settle near Philadelphia, he became associated with the Tract Association of Friends and was an active member from 1918 to 1944. During this time he wrote a number of tracts that were published by the association, and it is fitting at this time that some of these that deal with his testimony for Christ should be republished by the Association that he served so well.

Lewis Benson, 1952.