Prominent Seventh-Day Baptist (Dunker).
Joined Johann Conrad Beissel’s Ephrata community as Brother Jephune (c. 1729). Became a prominent community leader, Sabbatarian, and mystic. Published a hymnbook, Vorspiel der Neuen-Welt, printed by Franklin (1732); may have influenced Franklin to print a German newspaper. Expelled from Ephrata with his brothers Israel and Gabriel (1745). Settled along the Youghiogheny River, west of the Alleghenies, where he became a fur trader and physician. Eckerling’s brothers were captured by the Ottawa Indians (1757) and deported to Quebec and then to France, where they died of distemper. Eckerling then helped found a new Dunker settlement on the Shenandoah River.
Son of Michael Eckerling of Strasburg, a Lutheran who converted to Pietism (c. 1701). Immigrated to Pennsylvania with his mother and three brothers (1725). Married Catharina —.