32 responses to Who are the Swartzentruber Amish?
  • *
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (January 4th, 2011 at 13:53)

    I have one question about the Swartzentruber Amish: do they have assurance of salvation? To put it bluntly, do they have Jesus in their hearts in order to go to heaven? Are they true Christians?

    • *
      John Constantine
      Comment on Swartzentruber Amish (December 22nd, 2011 at 01:44)

      Swartzentruber Amish

      Sounds like an evangelical christians questions. Faith alone, scripture only Blah, blah. We have been friends with one family for many years. God Love them. Are they saved? They don;t say yes or no, only that at their redemption they will know for sure. We have stayed with them (in our camper) beautiful down to earth. When we first met I told them that I didn’t know much about their church but would respect whatever. Friends yes, but not invited to their wedding; not a problem with us. Never ask if wife is going to have a baby, not a problem. P.S. Faith alone is not in the bible, Luther added alone. Scripture only? When did the bible get published and at that time could afford one? “If you sin with your hand, cut it off, pluck out eyes…for real? Luther, “James…faith and good works…pile of junk. Can you add or drop words from the bible?

      • *
        Daniel Waldron
        Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (June 14th, 2012 at 18:28)

        John we cannot add or subtract from the Bible,but we can find a key of looking at the Word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.Since we are saved by GRACE,we need to focus our faith in and through Grace.What is Grace? and What does it do for the believer?We know that God is willing that His Son be worshiped and adored and glorified.So when we realize that to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth,we are hitting the most basic element of our faith.

        Jesus is the Truth,so when He said that those who worship His Father should worship in S p i r i t and in Truth,He meant that His Father is Spirit,and that we must enter the spiritual realm to worship Him,and that the Truth is the Son,and that we must see the Son as our only source of the Truth of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit as Comforter brings it all together!

  • *
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (January 5th, 2011 at 08:46)

    Hi Alyssa, I’ve tried to answer your question, or at least the first part, here: http://amishamerica.com/are-swartzentruber-amish-saved/

  • *
    Comment on How could you tell? (April 18th, 2011 at 15:24)

    How could you tell?

    Alyssa, how on earth could anyone tell that about another person, let alone a whole group of them that you’ve never even met? I’m sure that they mostly think they do. I’m not sure you could really tell about yourself whether you are a true Christian, even though I’m sure you believe you are. You’ll only find out for certain after you die, and see what happens. So what makes it likely that anybody could say about a whole category of people? The most likely answer is that, as with any other group who claim and attempt to be Christian, some manage it and some don’t, and the rest of us will never know in this lifetime.

  • *
    Comment on a hair's breadth (May 2nd, 2011 at 18:46)

    a hair's breadth

    My father’s side of the family were Amish from the Holmes/Wayne
    County area. The family left the Old Order when my dad was one
    (baby boom era).

    I didn’t grow up with him but have been in touch more over the
    past few years and have been probing him for some of the Amish
    family history. He is in no way Amish these days, if ever, but speaks
    Pennsylvania Dutch and rebelled as a teenager by wearing a tie to

    I remember him saying that his dad always said they were a hair’s
    breadth away from being “Old Order”. I always took that to mean
    driving buggies and not having electricity but he mean’t still driving
    buggies but they were almost, gasp, Swartzentruber.
    He called them cavemen.

    Apparently, my Great Great Grandfather, Dan Wengerd (he was a gunsmith and they
    called him BiksaDan, biksa meaning guns from what I understand?) was a bishop in the church
    at the time Sam Yoder split off. They say another reason was hat brim size. My grandfather wrote
    a poem on the barn wall about hat size and the split.

    • *
      Comment on BiksaDan explained. (October 28th, 2011 at 18:36)

      BiksaDan explained.

      Greetings, Eli:

      I’ve searched around for ‘biksa’, and this is what I found:

      According to Edward H Reich, in his “Pennsylvania-Dutch handbook (1879)”, Bix is PA-Dutch for Rifle.

      Also, in the “Common sense Pennsylvania German dictionary (1895)” Bichsa-Mocher means Gunsmith.

      Credits go to Lance[So you want to join the Amish], who submitted the following link:


  • *
    Comment on Almost Swartzentruber (May 4th, 2011 at 12:53)

    Almost Swartzentruber

    Hi Eli, thanks for sharing a bit on your background. I do not speak Dutch so cannot confirm “biksa” but maybe someone can. I think your grandfather’s poem would be an interesting one.

    On the plainer Amish being called ‘cavemen’ you probably know there is a bit of looking down on more conservative Amish by higher groups, particularly in Holmes County where so many groups rub shoulders.

  • *
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (May 4th, 2011 at 21:28)

    I’ve got people on the case for the poem. I hear my uncle wrote it down but I haven’t heard anything yet.

  • *
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (August 5th, 2011 at 17:06)

    When I was young and full of pep
    I often made a crooked step
    But now I’m old and my head looks flat
    Because I where a four inch hat
    But now if I am onest and true
    That four inch hat will surly do
    But should I tell a lie at that
    What good would do my four inch hat

    – Andrew Wengerd

  • *
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (August 5th, 2011 at 17:16)

    That was written on the barn wall by my great grand father. His father was a bishop when Sam Yoder split off.

    Apparently, the Sam Yoder side of the church wanted 4″ hats while the other side wanted 3.75″

    A year later they changed from 4″ to 3.75″ as well.

  • *
    Cee Cee Angel
    Comment on Question: Do the Swartzentruber Amish homes permit the "Old Testament"? (October 17th, 2011 at 09:04)

    Question: Do the Swartzentruber Amish homes permit the "Old Testament"?

    Do the Swartzentruber Amish homes permit the “Old Testament”?
    If so, are they permitted to read it?
    I ask because growing up my neighbor friends were Catholic, & in their upbringing permitted yes, to have the entire Bible in their homes, but told & instructed not to read it as they were unworthy to do so, only their priests were the only ones permitted to read & translate…
    Raised a Baptist was taught the Holy Spirit guides you into all understanding & were encouraged to read so not be misinformed & fall for just any man’s interpretation, to read it, learn it & live it, not by just what one was told, but by what the Bible actually says! But even so, I have Repeatedly found more truth when looking up original Hebrew (O.T.) & Greek (N.T.) for fuller meaning and understanding to what GOD & JESUS intended! But for anyone of any faith be ever denied this freedom to seek, search & find is well just wrong! Everyone needs to read both Old & New Testaments in full & repeatedly, it IS our Daily Bread!

    • *
      John Constantine
      Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (December 22nd, 2011 at 02:03)

      How many Americans can interpert the U.S. const? Why do we need lawyers? Why do we need preachers? Why 38,000 protestant denominations? How many people can really understand the bible? Any advanced society has a governing body to explain the RULES. I don;t see “once saved always saved” in the bible. Luther, if you sin sin mightly, if you kill, kill a thousand, have faith and you are saved? According to Baptist, after you are saved you can’t be cast into the pit. Only a few words on “gift of tongues.” Jesus never said it or experienced it. Why no communion everyday, bread and WINE, not grape juice. Jesus said, “do this in memory of me”.
      Is rhe DNA of Jesus floating around in the world? No brothers, or sisters. His mother, lived with John, w3hy not her children if she had any? Catholics read parts of the bible every day in churches. I have never heard a priest come down on others like the John Hagee (who had sex outside of marriage. Oncle saved always saved?

      • *
        Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (January 14th, 2012 at 11:20)

        Hello John. No offense intended, but reading your two posts above, they come across as fragmented. I don’t think I can completely understand your message. No, I get the idea about people taking a portion of Scripture and molding it into a preferred form, but my main question is in regard to your comment about Martin Luther (presumably) adding “alone.” Are you referring to James 2:24? I think that is the only place the phrase is found in the English Bible, and in this case it is rejecting the notion. I am familiar with Luther pointing to faith-based salvation as opposed to works-based salvation (Protestantism). Is that what you are talking about, or did you mean that Luther added words to the Scriptures?

      • *
        Daniel Waldron
        Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (June 14th, 2012 at 18:17)

        John, the fact that Jesus gave Mary to his beloved disciple John,does not in any way negate the fact that Mary in fact had other children.Joseph was gone,and Mary was no doubt living with the youngest of her children.John was chosen by Christ to be a provider and a help to Mary and whatever children were with her.The other older ones might have had families of their own and did not in fact believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

        Nevertheless, the Bible does not bring out all the specifics.

        Jesus is the Lord and giver of Life,He is one with the Father and the Comforter(Holy Spirit),so His life with Mary and Joseph is over,He sits at the right Hand of His Father,and intercedes for the whole body.Christians may be well organized in many factions,but the truth is that Jesus is still preached amongst them,and His Word is still the Main focus of their lives.Hardly a problem for the Comforter to sort through the man-made organizations.How wonderful that we can be all ONE in Christ,in spite of some differences?

    • *
      Carolyn B
      Comment on Re: Use of Old Testament (January 14th, 2012 at 00:24)

      Re: Use of Old Testament

      Sorry to digress off the Amish subject but wanted to let you know that in the Roman Catholic Church Bible Study of any book of the Bible is encouraged and has been for several years.
      Erik, thank you for all you do to bring all things Amish to us English who love them even in ignorance (speaking of myself only).

    • *
      Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (May 19th, 2013 at 11:41)

      I would caution to use the old testament (and entire Bible) with with the understanding that through the centuries, scripture has manipulated for various purposes from before the Roman times. Learning the complete history of our Western heritage gives one a better understanding of who we as a people, Anabaptist and Catholic, and how the Bible played an enormous part in our history for good and bad reasons.

  • *
    Comment on Contact Religious (December 16th, 2011 at 17:32)

    Contact Religious

    Hi!Looking for contacts with te Amish community Swartentruber general Amish,Mennonites/us/canada Please response among the followers of these churches Thank you!

  • *
    Daniel Waldron
    Comment on Legalism vs Grace (June 14th, 2012 at 18:06)

    Legalism vs Grace

    Every religion and culture has its peoples that choose stringent or strict way of life,to prove they are living the grass–roots of their persuasion.We see this in every religious group:Hindus,Buddhists,Jews,Muslims,and Christians.
    Since the gospels is the main teaching of the Christians in general,we see the very ascetic view of living for Christ.
    But the truth is that when a person becomes Christian they are introduced to a life of grace,because no one is able to live asceticism,especially when they are involved with more than one person.A hermit may succeed,being isolated from the world,living far away from those who are surrounded by technology and civilization.
    The Swartzentruber,maybe a plain and simple way of life,and they should be admired to the bravery in living that way in the midst of an affluent society,but it is not practical to live with such restriction,when in fact we are called to Grace,and to be IN Christ,who is our peace.Christ deals with inner man,but these groups that isolate deal with the outer.Perhaps many of that Swartzentruber will find their rest in Christ,but they are not listening to Christ when He calls us to make disciples of A L L Nations.

    • *
      Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (June 21st, 2012 at 13:42)

      Daniel, I think 261 000 Amish plus a futher 200 000 Hutterite, OO & OC Mennonites, plus perhaps another 120 000 Conservative Mennonites, Charityites and Brethren show that it is possible to live separate and distinct from the world as per biblical requirements.

      If I met you in person, will your dress and lifestyle reflect the Grace of Christ or the grace of the world?
      Your tongue can make many claims about Grace, some true and some false, but it is your lifestyle and dress that will speak truest. This the Amish understand and thus live accordingly.

      If it looks like the world, acts like the world, talks like the world – then it is of the world and not of Christ or in Christ. The outerman reflects the innerman and if the outer is worldly, then so is the inner, without doubt.

      And to answer your last comment about Amish witnessing to the world, I think the Amish are more well known around the world, thanks to Hollywood, than any other Christian denomination.
      More tourist visit various Amish communities annually than the Vatican or the Taj Mahal.
      For their size, the Amish witness to more people a Christian lifestyle than any other Christian group, sect or cult.
      They are growing in new membership faster than any other denomination and establish a new church district approximately every three days. Many Christian denomination are closing down and not growing. What are the Amish doing right? Well for one thing, they don’t accept that the inner and outer can be different, as in a Christian on the inside and worldly on the outside. Not possible.
      While many secular people would rightly call assimilated worldly Christians hypocrites, few would call the Amish that.

      They have witnessed to you. Proof of that is you on this site. Why have you not converted to the True Faith and joined them?
      The lack of outsider converts is not due to a lack of witness on their part, as you assert, but rather to a stubborness in the heart of the outsiders. Look to yourself to understand why, for you have yet to accept the example of their way of life as The Way, as the narrow path, separated from the world, that leads to salvation.

  • *
    Comment on Good article! (June 21st, 2012 at 13:34)

    Good article!

    All I can say is this:

    A person can call himself Swartzenruber Amish, Old Order, New Order, Mennonite, a Greek, or a Jew, but if he does not love God in his heart and love his neighbor by obeying the Law of God from the heart, he is not a Christian.

    Wonderful article! I like not only this article, but this whole site. Very helpful. I’m wanting to go visit Ethridge if at all possible in the next couple of weeks.

    • *
      Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (June 21st, 2012 at 16:13)

      Glad you enjoyed it Luke, and enjoy your visit to Ethridge. Pick up the local map if you go w/Amish businesses listed:


  • *
    Mary R
    Comment on thank you (July 4th, 2012 at 19:36)

    thank you

    Just a note of thanks in general. I am a Catholic woman and have been intrigued by the Amish lifestyle for a long time. After recently reading a fiction series of books on Amish life, I understand why, as a Christian, we are to live our life of faith in a more meaningful way on a daily basis. I heard that we should do this while growing up, but did not really listen all that clearly. As a non-Amish, I am swayed by the media, current events, others claiming to be Christian, along with a myriad of
    other things. The Amish clearly live life as a believer.
    This is important irregardless of what denomination you are. Again, thank you for the example of what life needs to be focused on-living as a believer in Christ.

  • *
    Susan Hardell
    Comment on Comment On This Discussion Trail (July 17th, 2012 at 10:58)

    Comment On This Discussion Trail

    Hello: your discussion above is very interesting. It brings to mind the various other religions that are not Christian oriented:Buddhism, Islam, Shinto, etc. How do the Swatzentrber elders stand on these other faiths? Isn’t the bottom line this: religious faiths and practices and lifestyles are different for everyone and are highly individual. What worship practices and/or way of life works for one person/family/group/population may not work for another in terms of believes, practices, etc. One can call their redeemer Jesus, Buddha, Allah or whomever, and the holy book may be the Bible, the Koran, the New Testament, the Talmud;what does it matter what these items are named? The bottom line is: live a good life, be honest in all of your activites, and kind in all of your dealings. I am sure the non-Christian religions have a comparable set of principles to live as the Christians have to the Ten Commandments. Attempting to live in accordance with one’s own individual interpretation of the principles of the Ten Commandments (and whatever they are called in other faiths)is the bottom line.Nothing is gained over arguing about issues as small as 1/4″ for hat brim, or issues of safety to the level of an orange triangle. Are these items hiding the realy issues, possibly resistance to government or outside groups telling/legislating people how to live on such personal scale as to require as small an item as orange safety triangles for example. If that is the issues I say ‘keep fighting’ for our country is now has become socialist beyond recognition.However, nothing positive results from name calling, nor divisions. Nothing is gained in narrow mindedness and slavish adherence to ritual, lifestyle, doctrine or minutaie. Respect for others and recognizing similarities as opposed to differences foster a positive environment we all deserve and hopefully strive to achieve.Remember, many people are in the U.S. because they could not live as they wished in their lands of origin.Let us remember this. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

    • *
      Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (July 18th, 2012 at 05:19)

      Hi Susan
      What you write is very vald about other religions having vaules, morals, ethics, etc. and I’m sure any rational and resonable person would agree with you, including the Amish.

      However the Bible does not agree with you. The Bible claims that Jesus is the only way to salvation and all the other ways are false and lead to damnation.

      So now we have a dilemma, do we follow our own rational and logical thinking, or do we follow what the Bible says?

      The Amish have chosen to follow the Bible, as have other plain groups, which is why they dress they way they do, as it is written in the Bible, i.e. head coverings, modest dress, no pants on women, no jewellery, no make-up, etc.

      Sure the Amish have added, or rather not added some modern stuff, but basically all biblically based Christian groups accept the biblical teachings regarding salvation, which means in a nutshell, if you do not accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are going to hell, no buts.

      Plain groups futher believe that if you call yourself a Christian and are not obedient to the word of God, that is, to live a separate lifestyle from the world, you will be joning the non-believers in hell, again no buts.

      You may not like this hardcore attitude, but they do and for the last 500 years have willingly died rather than give up such beliefs.

      The Amish do not like grey areas, for this leads to confusion and chaos and that is where satan will be found. So in a black and white world, where confusion and chaos have been conquered, the width of one’s hat brim, the length of one’s dress, the size of one’s safty triangle, etc. are not mundane matters, but are in fact the physical aspect of a spiritual war against chaos and evil.

      One last thing, good people do not go to heaven, for none are good, only the saved go to heaven, which is why joining the church and coming under the discipline of the elders is so important in plain churches. It is the narrow path that leads to salvation which few will find.

  • *
    exAmish Leon
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (September 11th, 2012 at 01:45)

    “Biks” is singular for “gun” and “Bik’ suh” is plural.

    I grew up referring to the Swartzentruber as “gnuddle-röllah” and thinking of them as being like cavemen. I had no idea what “gnuddle-röllah” meant.

  • *
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (November 2nd, 2012 at 17:58)

    There are a lot of things being said here, but one thing is clear: One has to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and obey God’s commands in order to be saved. There are a lot of false teachers and false doctorines. It is not what “we think” but what God says in the Holy Bible.

  • *
    Comment on Cleanest Schwarzentruber Farm Ever (March 28th, 2013 at 09:35)

    Cleanest Schwarzentruber Farm Ever

    I’d like to know where you got that picture of the Ohio Schwarzentruber farm without junk stacked all over the place. That is the cleanest one I ever saw. The deacon should visit those people.

    I like the Schwarzentrubers. They will visit on the bus, and are not stuck up. It’s wierd, the highest and the lowest seem to be the friendliest. I wouldn’t want their young folks trouble, but to each his own.

  • *
    Don Curtis
    Comment on Deitsch (March 28th, 2013 at 14:12)


    Well, Biksa Dan. Mark says that a “bix” is a rifle. A shotgun is a “schroat bix.” A pistol is a “flint bix.” Plural is “bixa.”

  • *
    Barbara Schwartzentruber
    Comment on Who are the Swartzentruber Amish? (July 15th, 2013 at 15:32)

    Who are the Swartzentruber Amish?

    Schwartzentruber is my maiden name. I am from the Kitchener area my relatives and my family are Amish Mennonites from the descendants of Menno Simons the founder of our faith. Hence we are called Mennonites. I would suggest checking history on him. The name Schwartzentruber doesn’t only come from Ohio it is further back than that, again check history. This family name is tied to Roman Catholic’s too. So this article you are printing is only a very, very small part about the name. The parts about shunning and very simple ways are not the way my family treats each other and I don’t feel that is the way God wants us to treat each other John 3:16. Check it out in the Bible!

    • *
      Comment on Check again (July 15th, 2013 at 15:57)

      Check again

      Check article again, article is not about the name ‘Swartzentruber’ or Menno Simons or what he has to do with Mennonites, but about the people known today as Swartzentruber Amish.

  • *
    Comment on Thanks (May 29th, 2014 at 06:20)


    Thank you for your article Erik!

    I would certainly be interested to read more articles about the Swartzentruber Amish, particularly about their theology.

    I guess it is quite hard to understand their theology as I’m assuming they don’t have too many publications on such matters?

    I read through some of the comments, and one commentator said that they speak of their coming redemption. I was interested to know what this means.

Leave a reply to Who are the Swartzentruber Amish?


Resource List

Reliable information from one of the largest Amish sites on the web.

Join over 15,000 email subscribers to get:
Amish Community Info | Book Giveaways | Amish Writers & non-Amish Experts | More

Get email updates

100% Free | No Spam | Unsubscribe Anytime