For more than three decades Solomon Wickey sat his ailing clients down, gazed into their eyes or maybe touched them to gauge their health. Faith, he maintained, was the cure.
A member of the Old Order Amish with no medical degree to back him, Wickey attracted a worldwide following out of his rural DeKalb County clinic. He said he sometimes saw 200 people a day.
“God does the healing,” he told The Journal Gazette last year. “If it wouldn’t be for Jesus Christ we couldn’t heal nothing.”
The longtime faith healer died early Monday afternoon. The DeKalb County Health Department confirmed his death but could not provide details. He was 75, according to his obituary.
The New York Times wrote about him in 1981. A book was written about his life. The Internet is full of testimonials from clients.
Wickey worked Tuesdays and Wednesdays out of a nondescript white vinyl-sided building between Auburn and Spencerville. He claimed to use his faith to heal by peering into clients’ eyes, listening to their health concerns and perhaps suggesting an herb to right their ills.
The Journal Gazette wrote about Wickey in September, when he recounted his brush with the legal system years ago.
He and his family lived in Berne in the early 1980s when the Indiana attorney general filed a civil complaint of practicing medicine without a license against him. He countered the accusations by saying he offered only nutritional counseling in accordance with biblical teachings and was not a doctor because he did not charge for his services.
More than 400 letters from well-wishers poured in and supporters packed the courthouse.
The judge sided with Wickey.
The Wickeys left Berne and moved to Madison before settling in DeKalb County, where they have lived for more than a decade.
Wickey told the newspaper he would work “as long as God gives me breath and wants me to do this. If I did it for myself I wouldn’t do it. But I was called to do it by the Lord.”
He is survived by his wife, Anna Mae Wickey, 12 children, a sister, a brother, 113 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren.
Services are Friday at the Wickey home.