The Moravian communities at Bethlehem and the Upper Places, which included Christiansbrunn and Nazareth, initially operated as communal economies in which laborers did not receive wages. Members of the community would be “paid” in housing, food, clothing, and other supplies. This economic model was later abandoned in favor of a traditional, wage-based economy. This transition occurred first in Bethlehem in 1762, then in Nazareth in 1764. However, at Christiansbrunn the communal economic system survived until June of 1771.
In June of 1771, brothers Lorenz, Nathanael, and Gregor traveled from Bethlehem to Christiansbrunn to facilitate the transition:
The deputies, brothers Lorenz and Gregor with brother Nathanael, are going to Christiansbrunn, to take the management of the therein business-items of their orders into consideration. (Bethlehem Diary, June 26, 1771)
While there, they discussed the transition with the brethren at Christiansbrunn. By the end of June, a “contract” had been drawn up detailing the transition. Details of this contract are mentioned in other records. The Christiansbrunn diary from June 1771 describes the contract in general :
As on Saturday, the speeches of the brothers ended with mutual enjoyment, and arrangements of different types will be settled with each brother. Some of the professional workers will be settled as in other Choir Houses, in which journeymen receive wages; on the other hand, some who work here will be entitled to an annual stipend for their clothes; and third, some elderly single brethren have asked to stay in the Oeconomie. One remarks that all the brethren expressed outright satisfaction and gratitude for this new arrangement.
The contract thus stipulated that there would be three groups of brothers: those who wanted to join the new model and be paid for their work, those who received an annual stipend and would have their trades supported by the church, and those who remained in the communal system.
These differences are confirmed by a detailed account in the Unity Administration Minutes from 1771:
Franz Seiffert, Master Flax Weaver
Mich. Ruch, the Elder
Chr. Ludwig Grunwald
Joh. Schaub (£12)
Matthaeus Witke (£10)
Renat. Kaske (£10)
Elias Hirte (£10)
Nath. Müksch (£13)
Joh. Gottfr. Belling (£12)
Anton Hagen (£12)
David Müksch (£12)
Joh. Anders (£10)
Henry Brunner (£15)
Peter Müke (£12)