Elijah Morgan, a Lutheran minister who finally gives Harry Donner, his son-in-law—in his late thirties—his blessing to enter the ministry.
Harry Donner, the main character, a storekeeper who later pastors the town of Mahanoy. When the church resents his work at Lost Run, he takes a position in Wetherill. He finds a rift there and resigns, even though he does not have another position. He finds work at Paint Creek and also serves Chadd’s Cove. He serves others after retiring at the age of seventy.
Oliver Piatt, the treasurer of the Wetherill church. He always requires Harry Donner to ask for his small salary. Piatt wants a big, new church.
Phillip Rodery, who opposes Piatt. He keeps a stray pig, is arrested, and is later injured in two falls. Church meets on his farm after a fire. Later, Piatt helps Rodery and others replace their church.
Isaac Gottschall, a one-armed miner who loses his other arm. Donner helps him purchase a home with a store.
Shelby Bashore, who is dying and wants to live. Donner tells him that life can never be put in the ground, that every seed rises, and that the ground is comforting: warm in winter and cool in summer.
Cal Harmon, a...
(The entire section is 525 words.)