Fast is a Mennonite family name which appeared in the rural Flemish congregations of West Prussia. It also appeared, although rarely, in the Danzig Flemish and the Montau Frisian congregations. One of the first mentions of the name was in 1582 in Wotzlaff, where an Arendt Feste appears in the record. The first appearance of the name Fast in a church record was in Danzig in 1669. According to records there were nine bearers of the name in 1727, all of whom had Dutch given names. The name was represented in such congregations as Ladekopp, Fürstenwerder, Heubuden, Elbing, and Danzig. Thirty-three families of this name were counted in 1776, 157 persons in 1910, and 108 persons in 1935. Members of the family also migrated to Russia and North America. Among the prominent leaders of this family were Daniel Fast, an elder of the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church in the Kuban from 1877 until 1902; Gerhard Fast, a minister of the Heubuden congregation from 1903 until 1932 and a leader in conference activities after World War I; Bernhard Fast, an elder of the Orloff (Molotschna) congregation; and Martin B. Fast, former editor of the Mennonitische Rundschau.
As of 1953, ten Mennonite Brethren ministers living in Kansas, Oklahoma, California, Manitoba, and British Columbia carried the name Fast, as did four ministers in the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Conference, and four among the General Conference Mennonites. Eleven Fasts served in Civilian Public Service. Well-known members of the family in North America have included Henry A. Fast, who was a Bethel College professor and vice-chairman of the Mennonite Central Committee, and Aganetha Fast, a former missionary to China.
Cite This Article
Reimer, Gustav. "Fast (Feste, Faast, Vast) family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 4 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fast_(Feste,_Faast,_Vast)_family&oldid=119581.
Reimer, Gustav. (1956). Fast (Feste, Faast, Vast) family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fast_(Feste,_Faast,_Vast)_family&oldid=119581.
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