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The “Amish Community”

The concept of “Amish community” has a number of meanings

The term “Amish community” is often used to refer to the Amish in general.  For instance, you might hear the questions, “What does the Amish community do when a barn burns down?” or  “What does the Amish community believe about technology?”

Sometimes the term is used appropriately, ie “My friend Lavern comes from the Nappanee Amish community”. However, describing Amish as belonging to one “community” may mean ignoring the sometimes great diversity and differences between groups.

Amish from one background may have differing opinions and approaches to daily living than Amish in another set of circumstances.  Differences may be subtle, or more profound.  When discussing the Amish, distinguishing just what we have in mind can be important.

amish community ohio
Heading down the road in the Amish community at Adams County, Ohio

Among other reasons, the question of diversity is relevant as assumptions are often made by non-Amish about all Amish based on the experiences with one group.  This can lead to misunderstandings and in some cases conflict between Amish and non-Amish.  In New York Amish, Karen Johnson-Weiner shares examples of difficulties encountered by Amish immigrants to the Empire State, particularly those from more conservative groups.

For example, compared to their New Order or Old Order Amish counterparts, highly conservative Swartzentruber Amish typically have different viewpoints and practices in areas such as health care, technology, participation in politics, mission and charitable work, and even what books are appropriate to have in one’s home or whether automobile transportation from non-Amish is acceptable.

Members of more conservative Amish groups have come into conflict over issues such as building codes or SMV triangles, raising objections that most other Amish would not, and sometimes perplexing non-Amish neighbors.

A more useful term when discussing “the Amish” as a whole might be “Amish society”, which has a broader scope.  “Amish society” can be used to take in a full range of Amish groups, some with differing practices and even beliefs,  just as the term “American society” takes in a broad swathe of cultures and diverse groups.  We can talk about and even make a few generalizations about “Amish society” and effectively refer to a much larger group of people.  John Hostetler likely realized the suitability of the term when naming his landmark 1963 book Amish Society.

Amish community as geographical settlement

However the concept of Amish community is in fact a valid one, and can be used to represent a few concepts.  For instance, “Amish community” is often used as a synonym for an Amish settlement, which is the geographical location where a group of Amish live.

The settlement may be made up of culturally and theologically similar Amish, or it may include diverse groups.  For instance the sizeable Amish community at New Wilmington, Pennsylvania,  is comprised more-or-less of one main “flavor” of Amish.  On the other hand the nearby settlement at Holmes County, Ohio consists of 4 main groups, and nearly a dozen tribes when broken down further into subgroups.

amish community new wilmington
Amish at New Wilmington, PA are marked by their brown-topped buggies and conservative practice

In this sense, “Amish community” can be used to refer to a very specific group of Amish tied to a particular place–though it is less useful the larger an area gets.  For instance, using the term “Lancaster Amish community” makes sense, while the term “Pennsylvania Amish community” doesn’t really.

Pennsylvania is home to over 50 settlements, scattered across the state, ranging from highly progressive to highly conservative groups.  Family, business, and other ties may link Amish in one Pennsylvania settlement to those in another–a Lancaster Amish person may have a sister living in neighboring Lebanon County, and a business partner in another Amish settlement in Central PA–but the idea of a uniform Pennsylvania Amish community is misleading.

“Lancaster Amish community” is a much more relevant term, as the Amish living in the geographically well-defined region of Lancaster County are for the most part similar in cultural practice and religious belief (though even in this community there is variation, i.e. in level of technology permitted), deal with similar local issues, and feature tight kinship bonds which link families and churches across the community.  These factors all combine to make the idea of a “Lancaster Amish community” make much more sense than that of a “Pennsylvania Amish community”.

Amish community as affiliation

Next, “Amish community” may be applied to the concept of an Amish affiliation.  Affiliation is a term used to describe Amish with similar practices that are also in fellowship with one another.

Being in fellowship means that Amish groups may exchange ministers and intermarry.  Affiliations may be spread across great geographic distances.  For example, members of the Andy Weaver Amish affiliation can be found in both Ohio as well as New York.  Conservative Nebraska Amish, who drive white-top buggies and follow a strict Ordnung, live primarily in Pennsylvania, with a small community in Ohio.  Amish from the New Order affiliation are found in around a dozen states.  A single comprehensive New Order Amish church directory is published, taking in settlements in many locations.  A member of a given group may feel a special sense of community with other members of his affiliation, even across distances.

Yet even within blanket group terms such as these, there can be differences and division.  For example, the Swartzentruber Amish consist of three separate non-fellowshipping groups, a result of internal divisions occurring over the past two decades.  New Order Amish are divided into so called “electric” and “non-electric” groups, reflecting the decision of some New Order Amish congregations to permit use of public electricity.

Amish community as local congregation

Thirdly, “Amish community” could refer to the Amish church district or congregation.  Amish come together on Sunday to worship in a community of believers, typically consisting of around 30 neighboring families.  Amish within a church district develop close ties with others in their congregation.

Although they may be part of a larger “Amish community” in the “settlement”, and “affiliation” sense, and even part of the local community which would include non-Amish neighbors and friends, the people in one’s church district often form the closest personal and spiritual ties for Amish.

amish community church family
Amish form strong ties through close-knit church community. Sunday morning in Lancaster County

Amish keep church districts small, periodically dividing them and creating new congregations, in order to better live out a Christian concept of a brotherhood of believers.  Living and worshipping with like-minded others in close community allows Amish to put Christian principles and values into practice in the day-to-day.

Amish tend to know the people in their own church communities best.  In larger Amish settlements, Amish tend to know the families they worship with, close neighbors, their personal family, and business or work ties.  Unless linked by such connections, Amish from one geographical area of a community numbering 10 or 20,000 individuals are not necessarily likely to know counterparts in another area–imagine being expected to know all of the families and individuals in your 20,000 person town.

Even the Amish, with their networks of connections and emphasis on face-to-face interaction, are challenged to “keep everyone straight”.  Nicknames and church directories can be useful.  However, maintaining the basic unit of Amish community, the church district,  as a small body ensures that Amish maintain meaningful close ties and provides an environment which Amish feel is well-suited to living out a Christian life.

Dunbar’s number

Interestingly, certain sociological concepts seem to back this Amish practice of worshipping in tight-knit community.  Dunbar’s number refers to the number of individuals one can be expected to maintain workable social relationships with.  British anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed that this number is connected with the size of the neocortex, an area of the brain, and thus the human capacity for maintaining social ties is limited.

Intuitively, the idea makes sense.  Limited time, energy and other resources means that cultivating and maintaining thousands or even hundreds of relationships is simply not possible.  The figure given as Dunbar’s number may range from 100 to 250, but is commonly cited as around 150–which happens to be roughly the average size of an Amish church district when including baptized and unbaptized individuals.

hutterite community canada
Hutterite men in Alberta, Canada, 1982

Hutterite communities follow a similar size guideline.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, a Hutterite leader comments that  “Keeping things under 150 just seems to be the best and most efficient way to manage a group of people…When things get larger than that, people become strangers to one another.”

Gladwell notes that this practice is an intuitive one that has been around for ages, not one the Hutterites, obviously, picked up from poring over evolutionary psychology studies to determine the optimum number of individuals.

The Hutterite leader goes on to explain that “In smaller groups, people are a lot closer.  They’re knit together, which is very important if you want to be effective and successful at community life…If you get too large, you don’t have enough work in common.  You don’t have enough things in common, and then you start to become strangers and that close-knit fellowship starts to get lost.”

Approaching that upper limit can result in natural subdivisions, according to the Hutterite informant, who has seen it occur: “What happens when you get that big is that the group starts, just on its own, to form a sort of clan…You get two or three groups within the larger group.  That is something you really try to prevent, and when it happens it is a good time to branch out.” (The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell, p. 181)

amish community farm work
Smaller groups help maintain social ties within a community. Amish share labor to harvest autumn corn

Amish seem to intuitively “get” the same concept, with most church communities preparing to divide on approaching 35-40 families in size.  As congregations get larger, closeness of community can be weakened, as well as creating challenges for leadership in “caring for the flock”.

Amish life is based in community

“Amish community” is a concept that is sometimes incorrectly used.  “Amish community” may be accurately used in reference to a specific geographical settlement.  Community may also be taken to mean those Amish comprising an affiliation, or a group with similar practices and beliefs.

Perhaps the most important meaning of “Amish community”, however, is in the sense of the local church congregation.  Living and worshiping in a tight-knit environment helps the Amish foster close ties, which promote Christian living and enable social support.

Amish and related religious groups feel community is best realized in these small groups, and thus take proactive steps (even a year or more in advance), to prepare for the creation of new units of community.  These include ordaining new ministry to lead the new church district when division occurs.

Photo credits: Adams County, Ohio buggy-Jerry Bedwell; New Wilmington Amish-WCN 24/7; Amish family walking-Frau Baxter (cropped from original); Hutterite men-Per Verdonk (cropped); Amish cutting corn-Bob Reid (cropped)

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43 Comments

  1. Matthew

    Erik,

    Where can one purchase one of the New Order Amish directories you mention in your post? The Raber’s Amish Almanac Directory lists a few of them in with the Old Order communities, but definitely not all of them.

  2. Hi Matthew,

    Unfortunately I don’t have the actual New Order directory with publisher info at hand, just a few pages of it. I’m almost certain it begins with an “A”, and if it comes to me or I find it I will let you know.

  3. Lois Klobucher

    Hi Eric, I love it when you have pictures to show us, and the article are always so interesting
    Happy Thanksgiving

  4. Hi Erik:
    Would that be Abana Books, 6523 TR 346, Millersburg, OH 44654? I dont know, but I have a German/English Bible here that they publish, and was kind of thinking that they might be who you are thinking of. (But no one should write them, unless you verify that is who publishes the Directory.)
    Mike

  5. There you go. I’m almost certain Abana is it. They do publish a number of other directories as well. Thanks Mike!

  6. Lois, thank you, it’s my pleasure. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  7. This Beachy Amish page confirms that Abana is correct, and even provides a phone number to call them. Mike

  8. Alice Aber

    Hi Erik,,, this was very interesting. Thanks for posting it. It made me stop and think about the mega churches in the secular world and how often I thought I would never want to go to one because I always thought I would get lost in the crowd so to speak. I never did see how they could have a close Christian fellowship with that many people. Guess my thoughts are similar to the Amish in that respect.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow!
    Blessings, Alice

  9. Matthew

    Thank you, Mike & Erik. I’ll send a query to them next week. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

  10. Damon Hickey

    The article is very interesting (as always!). You want to limit “community” in reference to the Amish to the local church congregation. Why does that make other meanings “incorrect”? When someone asks what the “Amish community” or even “the Amish” believe, do, think, etc., is that any different from asking similar questions about the “Jewish community” or “Catholics”? If one doesn’t know much about certain religious people who use the same name for themselves, is it “incorrect” to think of them as a “community”? If someone asks, “What does the Amish community do when a barn burns down?” wouldn’t it be correct to respond, “The Amish aren’t all the same, so it depends on the group”?

  11. Alice, good observation. Make sure you get some good turkey tomorrow. I am in Poland right now so might have to make due with pork chops and potatoes 🙂

    Mike glad you got it, Happy T-day too.

  12. Mona Greer

    Pork Chops are good too….Just what are you doing in Poland ? Are there Amish there too ?
    Love your articles……and from others too…..

  13. Exploring Amish community

    Hi Damon, many thanks for the comment. It is an interesting question you bring up. I am not sure I understood, are you saying that my intention is to ‘limit “community” in reference to the local church congregation?’

    I wasn’t sure if that’s what you meant, but in the article I try to identify 3 meanings–community as settlement, affiliation, and church congregation. I emphasized congregation b/c that one seems the most meaningful from a spiritual point of view.

    But the others I think are accurate as well as I was trying to point out. The meaning of affiliation may be the least common but I think that it is valid. One thing that prompted me to write this was thinking about how the “Amish community” term can get used to generalize and mean maybe more than it does.

    I actually tend to think that ideas like “Jewish community” and “Catholics” encompass so much–from Orthodox Jews to secular non-practicing Jews on the one hand, from vow of silence monks to cafeteria Catholics on the other. “Jewish community in Memphis”, or Latin Rite Catholics or the parish you belong to I would think are more meaningful concepts.

    Maybe it’s not necessarily “incorrect” but more accurate to make these distinctions. Of course I would never fault someone that didn’t know a ton about Amish to ask the question that way (as I’m sure I’ve used it myself about other groups), and my purpose wasn’t to nitpick, but to explore an interesting language/religion question (at least interesting to me! 🙂 )And I guess I just tend to interpret the term “community” more tightly–maybe opposite the postmodern/Facebook trend which seems to treat everything as a “community” 🙂

  14. Why dziekuje Monika! (that’d be “Thank you” in Polish 😉 ) I live here for part of the year. I am working on a 2nd book on the Amish right now, and have a 3rd book (in Polish language) being released here next month.

  15. Damon Hickey

    Erik, what I found most valuable in your post was your identification of the basic units of Amishness, about which the most meaningful generalizations may be made. I agree completely that there are significant differences among Jews, Catholics, and Amish, but I still think one may say some meaningful things about each broad “community.” One may also say more-meaningful things about smaller “communities” within each. The latter, not the former, may be the level at which it’s meaningful to address the question, “What does the Amish community do when a barn burns down?” As you point out, the three senses of “Amish community” you find most meaningful are all more limited. But since you also said, “‘Amish community’ is a concept that is sometimes incorrectly used,” I wondered whether you’d crossed over from “most meaningful” to “correct.”

    My specialty is American Quaker history, and I’ve run into the same problem whenever people have asked me about the Friends. Usually, I have to ask, “Which period and which group?” before I can answer the question. Usually, I’m being asked about the most distinctive practices, even though the majority of Quakers today don’t follow them. That’s probably what most people want to know about the Amish: what are the most distinctive practices and why?

  16. Definition of Amish community

    Damon, good points. For my part I probably should have used different phrasing than “incorrectly used” in my end summary, as “correctness” is not really the primary issue, and “community” can have flexible definition. But I think you get what I’m after–the more detailed meanings of the word.

    I also understand the sentiment that you identify–that people probably mean the general most distinctive practices–and wouldn’t bemoan someone using “the Amish community” to describe Amish in general. I’d probably be caught using Quaker community in the same way!

    On the other hand this point was brought home to me by Karen Johnson-Weiner in her discussions on NY Amish and the differing reactions and experiences different migrant groups to that state have had, and the sometimes problematic issues that have resulted from assumptions that all Amish can be expected to act in a certain way.

  17. Damon Hickey

    And as Steven Nolt has pointed out, some legal exemptions for “the Amish” tend to back all Amish into a corner. If several Amish bishops decided that their young people really needed to be schooled through the twelfth grade, what would that do to Wisconsin v Yoder?

  18. Glenda

    I find this post very interesting as I have began to give this subject a lot of thought recently. I attend one of those mega churches and am very aware of the lost in the community issue. Lovely people but you cannot get to know anyone unless you get into a subdivision of the larger group…
    My broher who is a Baptist minister suggested a smaller church. He thinks that churches need to be a smaller group… Obviously these amish groups know something that we have to stumble around to find out.

  19. Michelle V

    I find the dress of various Amish communities fascinating and simply beautiful. I have seen pics taken by Bill Coleman of an undisclosed settlement where little girls wear lemon yellow dresses and boys wear brown pants and vests.
    Is there any “good reads” that addresses the reasons or traditions as to why some colors are accepted and other colors are not? Along with style of clothing.
    … “Witness” was on HBO today – How far off in its depiction was it really???(in your opinion)
    Whats the weather like in Poland ? Its Super Hot here in FLA… oh I rather pork chops than turkey!
    Thanks & Take Care
    Michelle V.

  20. Slightly-handled-Order-man

    Although I’m not the one you’re asking, I think that the style depicted in “Witness” can be viewed as accurate, it is certainly not wrong, it may not be the only style or strictness, but, as the article and responses may suggest, it varies. In that way, I don’t think Witness is off on it’s depiction of an Amish dressing style, it depicts one style, and just like anyone of any faith/culture the clothing changes depending on what is going on, we see this in the film. Grandfather dressed up a little more when the Elders came to look at Book, but as far as Amish go, he was more casual when it came time to milk the cows or help at the barn raising. Simply, it depends on where you are and who you’re looking at. I saw an Amish/Mennonite who made me think of my uncle, except for the straw hat.

  21. Kate

    Hi Erik,
    This doesn’t have to do with this post but I was wondering if you have done or are planning to do a post on the Amish and the belief in Salvation. As I’m planning on joining an Amish church and have attended an Amish church for the last 5 years (one that does believe in Salvation through Grace) I have found this is a huge misconception about the Amish. Most people believe ALL Amish do not believe in Salvation by Grace which isn’t true. I was wondering what your expirience was with this and if you would be willing to share? I’d love to either read a post here or email privately about it as I really would like to see the truth about the Amish faith out there which is why I really love your informative & truthful articles. Thank you!
    Also, “cansch du Amish schwetza?” (Can you speak ‘Amish’?) I have noticed a few words & wondered 🙂 God bless & Happy Thanksgiving,
    Kate

  22. Good point on Wisconsin v. Yoder, Damon, I do recall SMN making a point along those lines, though not where exactly off the top of my head. I do appreciate this discussion.

    Glenda on big church groups it does seem you have to self-sort yourself into smaller arrangements, in order to create a sense of that community. And I guess it would hold true of any larger institution. My college had 24,000 students, and was a pretty big fishbowl.

  23. Books on Plain Clothing--Amish, Mennonite, etc.

    Michelle V, as for plain clothing reads, probably the best I’m aware of is Stephen Scott’s “Why do they Dress that Way?”. It is a nice slim easy to read volume that goes through the different aspects of dress with some good background. Amish themselves don’t always have answers for why they wear a particular style of plain item vs. a different style of plain item, or why something is one color and not another. But this book does a good job of giving some general background as to main reasons why all Amish wear plain clothing, and Steve also goes into a good bit of detail about individual communities, comparing prayer-coverings and other items in PA to those in the midwest and other areas, for instance.

    And those Bill Coleman shots are likely from the Big Valley settlement, as the Nebraska Amish there dress similarly to the boys you describe (brown trousers/vests, white shirts) though the lemon yellow dresses may be from a different community, if I’m not mistaken, as the women from this very conservative group would wear darker colors. Here’s some more on “Nebraska” Amish if you’re interested: https://amishamerica.com/nebraska_amish/

    And I have to say I’d take turkey over pork chops any day! Guess I’ve had a few too many. We are definitely cooling down in Poland right now, it is definitely not Florida 🙂 Have a great Thanksgiving.

  24. Is the plot of Witness believable?

    And on the Witness question Shom has a good take here. Generally I don’t think it was too far off the mark when you get past the slightly hard to believe premise of the Amish harboring a big-city police officer and getting entwined in a criminal plot. I haven’t seen the recent Amish Grace film but from what I understand the cultural side of it was not quite as accurate, I believe the dress/appearance was what was criticized.

  25. Kate I have enjoyed your blog and all best to you with your journey and decision. Sounds like you may be attending with a New Order congregation? I did a short post on Assurance of Salvation a few years back, and also mention it in the Amish Online Encyclopedia entry on New Order Amish: https://amishamerica.com/assurance-of-sa/

    https://amishamerica.com/whats-the-difference-between-new-order-and-old-order-amish/

    Maybe it will be time for another post on this. As for Schwetza-ing Amish, I don’t schwetza more than a few words here and there. It is fun to learn though. Maybe someday–I speak Polish already, and not sure if my brain can fit another language 😉 How about you? How have you been learning it?

  26. Alice Aber

    Glenda,

    Growing up I was raised a Baptist and attending an independant Baptist church that had between 250 and 300 members. I thought that was a mega church, back in the 60’s, ha! Over the years I have moved several times. In each new community I searched for the smaller churches then out of those found the ones with “the best fit” for me. I have crossed over denominations a few times as well. Although I still hang on to my Baptist roots I currently am attending a small Church of God, Pentecostal Church. The most we have in attendance is 50. The sense of “community” and “family” is awesome! I feel we are all going to have our own certain beliefs no matter what church we attend as that is what God puts in our hearts, but there is nothing like having a church family that really comes together to help build faith.

    I don’t want to sound like I am really down on mega churches but truthfully, I do not see how good fellowship and community can come out of them. I think the largest church service I attended was around 500 and felt lost there as well. Maybe its just my way of thinking but I feel like the main reason for joining a congregation is for the closeness of fellowship and community. I would have to agree with your brother, to get the most out of it, look for a smaller church. 🙂 Just my thoughts.

    Be blessed!
    Alice

  27. Michelle V

    Erik & S.H.O.M. many times Thank You ! for answering my questions and in detail :). Erik I will add S. Scott’s book to my collection. Speaking of I recently added two “old” ones from 1936/1937 – “Straw in the Wind” a fic story (kinda scary, i might add) about an Amish family in a rural setting – full of sterotypes and surnames like Schlegel,Stutzmiller and Riehl which I’ve not heard of before and “Roseanna of the Amish” a sentimental sweet story of an adopted girl becomimg Amish. I’m looking for part 2 “Roseanna and her Boys” Again many times- Thank You!
    Michelle

  28. Michelle V

    Grandma Yoder of Yoder’s restaurant in Pinecraft made the Tampa Paper for her world famous pies- she was also on Man vs. Food. Yum!!! So, whatever you like or have on this Thanksgiving Day be it tasty, simple and joyous!!
    Stay Safe and many warm blessings to all!!
    Michelle V

  29. Kate

    Hi Erik,
    Thanks for the quick reply! I am actually attending an Old Order Church. A lot (not all) of the Michigan churches were formed for a few reasons off of the Indiana or other churches and 1 of the reasons was the belief of Salvation rather than through Works. Have you visited any MI churches? Can I ask which ones, if you have? I looked for a post you did and couldn’t find it so thanks for the links! 🙂 And if you’re able to ‘schwetz’ polish that’s pretty great too. I’m doing alright with my dutch, I can understand a lot but can’t really speak it as much. I’m learning though! haha. Thanks so much again Erik. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
    Kate

  30. Hi Kate that is interesting to hear, as far as I know there is some sympathy to assurance beliefs among some Old Order churches in Holmes County as well, though maybe not as an “official” stance.

    I have been in a settlement in Hillsdale County but can’t say exactly which one, this was quite a while back. Glad you found the links and take care Kate.

  31. Rosanna of the Amish--fact or fiction?

    Michelle V Roseanna of the Amish is considered a classic. There has been some controversy over that one as it was supposed to be a true story or at least largely based in truth but I believe in recent times it’s generally been considered to be sa fictional work. Not to take away from the book though, enjoy it!

    On the names, “Riehl” is definitely a current name, a lot of them in Lancaster County (take a look at the testimonial near my book at the top of the page 🙂 ) Schlegel might have been an old Amish or Mennonite name, I’d have to check. Stutzmiller sounds like a hybrid creation of Stutzman and Miller 🙂

  32. Ideal size of a church--Megachurch vs. Amish congregation

    Alice I have visited some “mega” churches or at least ones with large attendance and I can sympathize with what you say. Not to knock them though as I believe that getting people in the doors on Sunday is a good thing no matter the size of the building. And I think you can have a sense of community in one as well though it may not be as “automatic” as it would in a smaller congregation.

    The Amish tend to divide their districts at the “right” time, I feel in terms of keeping numbers small. It can be a bit of an emotional change though–half the people you have seen every Sunday or every other Sunday suddenly are not there (or at least not so regularly as they’d still visit).

    I recently attended at a friend’s district in Ohio after they’d just had a division. This was a New Order district which in Ohio tend to be a little or even a lot more spread out than the Old Order ones, and that meant that people do not see each other as often. Another Old Order friend who had also recently divided was in a different situation, as the district was basically around one block and most folks lived within about a square mile.

  33. Alice Aber

    Erik, I did not mean to sound like I was totally knocking mega churches. They are just not for me. I am sure they serve a good purpose in their own way though and obviously a lot of folks like them or they would not go.

    I imagine when an Amish district divides it can be quite hard on those who attended regularly and who will no longer see their “church family” on a regular basis because of the division. The decission to divide must really be a hard one knowing they are breaking up a family so to speak.

    Seems to be cons and pros in everything.

  34. Hey Alice, I didn’t think you were so hope it didn’t sound that way. Sounds like you have just found what fits.

  35. Alice Aber

    No problem Erik!! Yes, I have found what fits for me. 🙂 Well, I am off to the kitchen to get those pies baked for the church bazaar tomorrow. Hope everyone has a great day!!

  36. ExWrangler David Bubba E.S.

    Quetions to anyone who is Amish

    Hello,
    I don’t know how to start this, but a lot of me am like your life, i love the old ways only, I don’t like how people now days don’t keep their word or shake a hand that means more than just a hand shake. I know I can never be perfect; I don’t have any family just about. All alone and I have a good heart and its being abused by these people around me. I want to be among the old style folks. either on a ranch but can’t find one that would or know of any that is out there to see if they take me, I wanted to know if someone is willing to do all of what you do, would you speak to them or me, and try me and see if you would take someone like me in for life, I LOVE Horses, I have my own saddle and cowboy gear as chaps and stuff, not sure if you al’ use this but, I want to be out in the sun working hard feeling about yourself and i never never been married and never had any children, so i figure I did some right, I just want to belong to a large family that LOVES, NOT HATES… Please write me back, forgive the email title, don’t let the name get to you because I just want someone one but all to love me,
    My name is David and willing to change it, my email

    thetexasconfederatecowboys@gmail.com

    1. Mr

      I see you are a lieing because the Amish do not use Computers!

  37. Mr

    Please give me a definition.

    Can anyone give me a definition for an Amish person I would really appreciate this?

  38. Chantelle

    Amish in South Africa?

    Hello everyone,

    I happened to find this site while researching Amish in South Africa.

    I am intrigued and drawn to the whole idea of community with one another and the lifestyle of being free from what binds you to this world is what I crave!

    I am tired of the rat race and everything that goes with it. It all seems so futile and soul destroying. Its like a dog chasing its tail.

    Anyway, that’s my motivation for looking for this information.

    Can anyone tell me please, are there any Amish communities in South Africa as I am keen on finding out more on how to become Amish 🙂

    Thank you for your time – have a great day.

  39. South African Amish

    No, there are no Amish in South Africa. The only “Amish” in Africa are some “Beachy Amish” (they drive cars, but hold many ok the same basic principles as the Old Order Amish) with missions in East Africa (possibly other countries, not sure) and humanitarian aid projects in various other places like Liberia.
    You might find this site–http://www.hisekklesia.org/–interesting, as they would hold some of the Anabaptist principles. The site owner lives in Namibia I believe, but has some contacts in South Africa if I remember correctly.

  40. Chantelle

    Thank you Primitive Christianity for your response – much appreciated 🙂 I will continue my research with your link you provided. Have a great day today.

    1. jakes

      U found any Amish people in South Africa i also interested mail me please

    2. jakes

      Chantelle sent me a mail at jacowindt88@gmail.com !! have a nice day