New Order Amish

The New Order Amish in Amish society

What distinguishes New Order Amish from Old Order Amish?

New Order Amish make up only a small percentage of the total Amish population–roughly 3%.

new order amish
New Order Amish use the horse-and-buggy

New Order Amish live in a number of states, with the largest group found in the Holmes County, Ohio settlement (around 18 church districts, or about 2,400 individuals).

Visually, New Order Amish can often be difficult or impossible to distinguish from members of Old Order Amish churches.

New Order Amish dress plain, travel by horse-and-buggy, speak Pennsylvania German, and send their children to Amish-run parochial schools.

New Order Amish differences

There are differences between the New and Old Order, however.  They include:

  • Sunday School-many New Order Amish churches devote the “off” Sunday to a Sunday school gathering for the entire congregation
  • Air Travel-most New Order Amish churches permit travel by plane
  • Fewer New Order Amish youth join the church-the New Order Amish have a significantly lower retention rate compared to other Amish affiliations

…and a number of others.

Frequently, New Order Amish are described as “more progressive” than Old Order Amish.  But as Hurst and McConnell do a good job of explaining in An Amish Paradox, that is not exactly a perfect description.

new order amish note
Keeping perspective. Inside a New Order Amish workplace, Ohio

In fact, New Order Amish could be described as socially more conservative than most Amish, in that they promote clean courtship among youth, and don’t allow tobacco or alcohol use.

A better description may be that New Order Amish are a mix of more conservative and more progressive practices.

One mark of “progressivism” may be their orientation to non-Amish.

I’ve got a number of New Order Amish friends in Holmes County, and often visit church and even Sunday School.

New Order Amish typically welcome visitors.  New Order ministers often attempt to preach at least part of the service in English.

German language hymn books used at New Order Amish Sunday School may also include an English translation.

Read much more on the New Order affiliation in this Amish Online Encyclopedia article on the New Order Amish.

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    8 Comments

    1. George

      Very informative and good to know.
      I liked the note hanging on the wall inside a New Order Workplace!

    2. Bill

      Here is a link to some photos published by the Erie Times taken in the New Order settlement of Conneautville, Crawford County PA and the Old Order settlement of Spartansburg also in Crawford County. http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=AMISHPHOTOS
      Notice the buttons at the top of the New Order ladies’ dresses, pins are used by Old Order Amish women.

    3. I did not realize there were new order Amish. Quite an interesting read my friend.

    4. George and Michelle, glad you enjoyed it. Bill I had a look, there are many interesting photos there. The plaque on the school especially.

    5. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      What does the second part of the note say? “No kindness, no matter how – – it is, is wasted” I’ve squinted, does it say “small”? I like the thought, wonderful!

    6. Judy Duer

      Loved reading this info, I’ve heard of New Order but I really didn’t know how they were different, very interesting. Love looking at the pictures that were posted by one of the bloggers.

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