Evidence suggests there have been Christians who practiced the ordinance of feet washing throughout history. Augustine (A.D. 400) endorsed the literal ritual. The custom gained popularity in southern Europe between the fourth and seventh centuries. The Anabaptists of the sixteenth century were committed to this doctrine.
Feet washing was even practiced among many Baptist churches in the United States up to the close of the nineteenth century. As a boy, Abraham Lincoln prepared the water and basins for this ordinance in a Baptist church in southern Indiana.