So you want to join the Amish

One thing that sets the Amish apart from many Mennonite groups, and for that matter most other religious bodies:  they don’t recruit.

Amish typically neither condemn nor encourage attempts to join.  They may seem a bit discouraging towards the idea.  If the subject comes up, usually you hear something like ‘if you don’t grow up Amish, it’s really hard to do it.’

Occasionally, you run into an Amish person with a name that just doesn’t ‘sound’ Amish.  That’s often a clue.

It frequently happens that non-Amish who join stick it out for a little while but leave when the novelty wears off.

I’ve only met a very few that have joined, and that’s out of literally (literally literally) thousands of families met while selling books in their communities.

I regret not having a chance to get down to the nitty-gritty about it with the joiners (What’s it like?  No, what’s it really like?  What do you miss most?).

One was a teacher.  Another works in a factory.  A third, fairly fresh convert raises and sells mums.  He supposedly fell for an Amish lass while on a visit to the community.

Asking another ‘native’ Amishman in his community about the newbie, I was told, almost wink-wink jokingly, that he seems to be doing alright (so far), as if the underlying idea was ‘is he gonna make it?’

But this guy, and the other people around him were supportive as far as I could tell.  In fact, the outsiders who have joined and ‘survived’ seem to garner a bit of extra respect.

Apparently, one way it works for interested parties is that you first come to live and get put to work for a certain length of time, just to see if you can hack it on that end.

Then there are the teachings and language to pick up.  Amish adolescents readying themselves for baptism normally attend prep courses led by church ministers.

One New Order Amish couple I met had adopted five non-Amish children.  They found a Pennsylvania Dutch tutor to teach the kids the native tongue.  I suppose that would come in handy for non-Dutch adult converts as well.

Some converts are from similar-minded faiths such as this Mennonite -background fellow, which may make it easier, but others come from different branches of Christianity.

The teacher-convert was apparently originally Catholic, as was well-known Amish historian David Luthy, whom I often mention in this blog.

616444_car_keys Apparently this teacher-convert said he found living without a car to be the most difficult.  That’s not surprising.  For me, I think car and electric would be the hardest.  Clothing, hairstyle, hard physical work I’m pretty sure I could swing.

But that might be looking at it the wrong way.  One Amishman has suggested that seekers approaching the Amish solely through the lifestyle angle–the buggies-and-beards rustic appeal of it–are missing the point.

The whole idea is not to live in a strange cultural world for it’s own sake.   By itself, that gets you nowhere.  Rather it’s all about living what the Amish feel is most important:  the words and teachings of Jesus Christ.

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    1. nelson

      elderly divorced woman

      In Smyrna Mills , Maine there is a divorced handicapped woman , from non-plain background living there with the Amish and the church takes care of her,,,,
      Charlene,,,you should go visit her there,and the community,,,before you decide,,,or give up.
      i have the phone number of community and more if you want,,,,

      Greyhound and Cyr buss lines go all the way to Oakfield,
      e-mail me if any of you want more info followjesusonly

    2. Lance

      Amish Baptism Vows

      These are a translation into English of the Baptism Vows as spoken in Old Order Amish churches that originate in the Ohio(Holmes Co) and Indiana(Elkhart/LaGrange Cos) traditions. Other Amish of other traditions may have different vows. The source is the “In Meiner Jugend” book published Pathway Publishers, the Amish publishing house in Alymer, Ontario. That book has the original High German and an English translation of these vows and several others, and also several songs, prayers, the Dortrecht Confession, the Apostles Creed, Rules for a Godly Life and wedding vows.

      1. Can you also confess with the eunuch: Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
      Answer: Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

      2. Do you also recognize this to be a Christian order, church and fellowship under which you now submit yourselves?
      Answer: Yes.

      3. Do you renounce the world, the devil with all his subtle ways, as well as your own flesh and blood, and desire to serve Jesus Christ alone, who died on the cross for you?
      Answer: Yes.

      4. Do you also promise before God and His church that you will support these teachings and regulations [Ordnung] with the Lord’s help, faithfully attend the services of the church and help to counsel and work in it, and not to forsake it, whether it leads you to life or to death?
      Answer: Yes.

      Then the prayer, with the applicants kneeling and the members standing.

      Then the baptism is administered: Upon your faith which you have confessed before God and many witnesses, you are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

      Thereupon they are taken up: In the name of the Lord and the church, my hand is extended to you, stand up. Handshake and holy kiss and God’s blessings wished. And that they are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.

      End of the vows. I did not edit text of the vows in any way. Too bad that the original text mixes actions and spoken words without any indication of the change. The book is not copyrighted, so there should not be any violation posting these vows here. If you are in a different tradition, the vows most likely will be different.

      If you desire to become Amish, make sure you can agree wholly with the vows before you try, it is extremely to painful to take these vows and leave later. I wish you all good luck and God’s Blessings.

      1. Valerie


        Thank you for sharing those Lance, I think it is important for those seeking to see this and consider the importance this is in their possible joining.

        I appreciate that you give us a window into your experience to look through and it makes one realize, that you can be caught between the two worlds-it seems you have not been able to return to the English world in heart-so it is something for people to consider as I have heard similar stories about others who have tried.

        1. Slightly-handled-Order-man

          Vows and other material

          I agree about these statements about those vows. I think a lot of people who want to join the Amish or faiths like it should read the document linked to Erik’s entry “Rules of a Godly Life”, it’s a booklet that many people ought to read.

    3. Laura


      Ever since a visit to some relatives in Pennsylvania four years ago (they are definitely not Amish) I have been fascinated with their way of life. It seems that their simple reliance on God is completely in line with what I see in the Bible. There are so many people here who want to join the Amish, and although I admire them, I don’t think that is what God is calling me to right now. I’ve trusted God since I was fourteen and I’m currently at university in Birmingham (England) studying Theology. I know they are a very private people and so this might not be possible but I would very much like to spend some time (possibly a few months over a summer) living and working with an Amish family. And I was wondering if anyone knew a way that this might be possible? This is not just out of academic interest that I ask but because I think I could really learn from their simple faith, as I see my life now it doesn’t seem to come close to the community lifestyle that I read in the Bible, but I believe the Amish one does, and I’d really love to know, for myself what that is like.

      1. Kathlyn

        Any Amish Family Out There?

        Hello! My name is Kathlyn, I am 12 years old and I live in Ohio. My grandma has a cabin in LaGrange, Indiana in the heart of amish country. Ever since I was young I had wanted to become Amish. I am now going to persue my dream. Next summer I am wanting to stay with an Amish family. If I find one and my parents approve I am planning to convert when I get out of 8th grade, or possibly when I get out of 7th grade. Are there any Amish families willing to take me in on a long time basis. Thanks so much!

        1. Joshua


          Have you tried living a “plain” lifestyle now, before you considering visiting and joining the Amish?

          Also, have you tried attending a more “progressive” amish church, such as the Beachy church?

          There are many Beachy churches in Ohio that would give you a taste of what the Amish lifestyle is like. If you can handle that and decide you want to be more “primitive” or “plain”, then and only then would I consider joining the Amish. The Beachy’s are just like the Old Orders except they have electricity, drive cars, and use primarily English.

          I’ve been going to a Beachy church here in Ohio for over a year. It has helped me learn more about the culture, since I was raised in the city. I was homeschooled and used Pathway Amish readers for my schooling which made learning about the Amish beliefs easier.

          If you want more information about the Beachy’s let me know. In my opinion, they are the best pathway to the Amish.

          1. Lyn

            Longing the simple life.

            For many many years I have said I could totally be Amish. I long for the simple things in life. Before my husband, I went 5 years without public television. Just what movies we had. And those were my kids. I am 34 and my husband keeps saying he is leaving me. Should he go, I have nothing for income. I cared for my children. One now lives with his father and one is in a group home because he is mentally challenged. No better time then now to completely turn it all over to God. I have nothing left except material possessions that I can walk away from. You mentioned Beaches Church. Are there any in WI? I am closest to Marion, but not that far from Wautoma, Bonduel, or Kingston. Even if he does not leave, I need a good Christian church. My last one was ok, but contradicted itself often. Please help me turn it all over to God.

      2. ser simplismente simples pois é no simples que se encontra a DEUS


    4. sallyann

      I would love to study the bible with the Amish , I do live a simple life now, It has been my dream for so long now to stay with and Amish family and learn from them in depth about the simple life of the Lord and apply it to my life in everway. thank you

    5. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Beachy Amish

      There is a Beachy Amish website out there. It hasn’t been updated in forever, and they basically have said it won’t be updated because it’s mission had been completed, but it does provide excellent information about the Beachy community and its member churches. I like that it provides the Confessions at the origins of the faith.

    6. Sarah

      Hey I live in Nebraska and there aren’t many Amish here and its been my dream to become Amish. So I was wondering if there where any Amish family close by that I could stay with them for a summer of 2013. If anyone would like to let me stay with them or know someone that I could stay with please let me know asap.

    7. Traveler

      amish in Nebraska

      There are several Amish families in Verdigre, Nebraska..
      One is by the name of Harley Yoder

    8. Amanda

      Looking to become Amish

      This has been quite a popular topic. There has been a lot of great information and quite a few seekers. I too am here because I am interested in joining the Amish. I am hoping someone here could help me. A little about myself, I am 28 and I live in PA. Starting around 5 years ago I felt led to join a plain christian community. I thought to myself “that is crazy no one just ups and joins the Amish!” I am not running from an old life seeking to replace it with a new one. I like my life. I have good friends and a wonderful family. This is something that I have felt tugging in my heart for a number of years. I have spent a great deal of time in prayer and thought to make sure that this is not my want or doing but that truly of the Lord. I believe that he has led me to the plain life and of the Anabaptist faith.
      I have spent a lot of time in changing my own life and I have also spent this time studying Amish and Mennonite history and faith. I already dress modest and plain and also wear a head covering. I came to this decision a few years ago after careful reading of the bible and prayer. I am also starting to learn German. I have given much thought as to where I would like to go what “branch” of the Amish I would like. I really feel that an old order would be the right fit for me. I do not drive and I really have no urge to, I am more comfortable on a farm, I enjoy my garden, chickens and canning. I also do not favor much technology such as TV and other things (obviously I can use a computer and own one). I sew and quilt all on my treadle sewing machine and heat my home with wood. All of that is just cultural lifestyle stuff that obviously I can do all on my own. What I am looking for is a community and a church that live and practice a bible based living and worship. I know there are a few places that have welcomed converts in the past. I have heard of communities in Maine, Michigan and maybe Ohio. Really I would go anywhere that would except me. I am a really shy person and this has taken me a lot to write out. I am hoping someone here will help me. Maybe provide me with a name and address of a Bishop or even seek out on my behalf. This has gotten pretty long sorry to ramble, if someone would like more information or is able to help please email me. Thank you Amanda

      1. Amanda

        and of course that would be Sorry I realized my typo after I submitted. Thanks Amanda

      2. Anyone wishing to join the Amish

        I have been reading the comments on here and am amazed to see no convert has commented on these posts for others seeking advice. This says to me that I am “The last of the Mohican’s?” Surely not?
        I lived Amish for 8 years. I was not born Amish. I joined when I was 20 and left when I was 28. I am 33 now. I stayed long after the “novelty” wore off and learned the language fluently after 5 years of learning. My testimony is too long to post here but if anyone needs any advice on this life altering decision, feel free to email me and God willing I will help in any way I can.

        1. Ginny Jenkins

          No more emails please

          In response to my previous comment, I have removed my email because my husband and I have decided to move back into the community from which I left and so of course I will be unable to answear emails any more. Sorry 🙁
          God Bless,
          Ginny Jenkins
          (AKA: Virginia)

      3. Paula

        for Amanda

        I tried to email you at your address and the email came back. Maybe there is a typo in the email address? Can you please email me? We are 14 yrs in a conservative Mennonite congregation in Lancaster County. I would be glad to help if I can.

        1. Ginny Jenkins

          I emailed her too. I am of the Plain City, Ohio mennonite church. You may not have seen it but she corrected it in another blog.
          The email is :

          She forgot the n.

    9. lily

      i am 13 and have wanted to live in the amish lifestyle i know the work it takes and i can do it but how do i get there? please help.

      1. Slightly-handled-Order-man

        Lilly ought to

        Lilly ought to:
        Meet people in her state’s Amish community
        Begin to attend Amish church
        Become familiar with members, non- and baptized Amish
        Assimilate herself into Amish culture [appropriate women’s clothing, language etc]
        Meet an Amish boy and his family
        Become friends with these people
        Take the necessary steps to become baptized, and
        Fall in love with and marry an Amish boy as he and Lilly grows into Amish adulthood

        That is one series of things you ought to do, Lilly.
        [and I am not trying to make fun or disparage you]

        1. Ginny Jenkins

          I just wanted to friendly comment about your comment to Lily.
          The Amish do no appreciate an outsider coming into the community for the purpose of finding a mate and I have to strongly disagree with this advice to a young girl.
          I joined at 20 and became a member/lived there 8 years. My reason was because of a broken home and I was seeking refuge in a stable christian environment. I dont recommend joing for this reason either but anyway I heard from my amish brothers and sisters first hand that they do not care for a young girl coming in to find a husband. She would be a snare to their young men like delilah and they would not be welcoming to her. A young girl aught to seek to walk closely with God and as the famous saying goes that I have put on my ministry page for women (He Calls Me Beautiful……on Facebook)
          “A woman aught to walk so close to God that a man needs to seek him in order to find her”

          If anyone whats to “like” my page, please do, its for women really and its purpose is to find and celebrate our beauty in Christ in an effort to dispell the worlds idea of beauty. It encourages Godly beauty.

          1. Slightly-handled-Order-man

            Hi Ginny

            Ginny Jenkins;
            Thank you for sharing. And I dearly hope that your home/family life isn’t as bad now as your childhood might have been. I hope that you are also close to your Amish brothers and sisters, even if you’ve since left the community. Please accept my sincerest sympathies toward any family traumas you might still have, some things are life long, unfortunately, but it is good to find a loving and supporting family.

            Thank you for sharing your point of view on the Amish and Outsider/English women, it is a valid point. I’m not going to argue this at all, since I feel it is a valid thing and since many people come here as seekers with various levels of commitment, all advices, experiences and thoughts need to be shared and weighed.

            Welcome by the way to Erik’s Amish America blog, feel free to post replies to any other entries he has posted, I’m sure you have wonderful insights into many things Amish.


            1. Ginny Jenkins

              Thank you for your kind words 🙂
              My home life is much much better thankyou. Although havent lived at home in 13 years tho, I have since married a wonderful man, a pastor and am 33. I am still in corespondance on occasion with my amish brothers/sisters and often go back at weddings/funerals.
              But our parting wasn’t good at first. Since then things are better. I can explain further when I have more time.
              🙂 Ginny

      2. I would say Lily and others like her ought to:

        A) get her parents involved and discuss this interest with them


        B) keep in mind the majority of even Amish-raised children do not choose to join the church until they are technically adults, at age 18-22.

        1. Ginny Jenkins

          To Erik:

          Well said!

    10. Traci Banville

      I have said it before, and I will say it again......

      I just do not understand why the Amish have become the “go-to” group for so many non-Amish people. They have managed to survive for centuries by keeping to themselves and not recruiting outsiders like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses because that is what the Bible told them to do.
      “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17
      My concern is that so many of the women and girls here that want to “join the Amish” are being driven by some romantic notion.
      The Amish are great in numbers, they do not need you to join them. If you want to live as they do, then do so. Why not find others here and start your own offshoot community, rather than invading established communities. It is fine to want to emulate the virtues that you admire but not if it threatens others and I feel that all of these outsiders are a definite threat to the Amish and their future.
      My great-grandparents were Dunkards but my grandmother left to marry an “Englischer” which she later regretted. I grew up eating the foods in Amish cookbooks, my sister and I were one quarter “Pennsylvania Dutch”, our clothes were home sewn, we had a garden, we preserved, kept animals, used PD words and sayings in our everyday speech and it was normal to us. Would I want to go and “join the Dunkards” ? No. I would not presume to infringe on them or the Amish. I have too much respect for them.

      1. Denise

        Feedback to Traci Branville

        Hello Traci,

        Although I thought your response to the people who want to join the Amish was a little harsh, you are correct on all points. We in the outside world are trying to run and hide from this society that we are responsibile for building. By runnning to the Amish, if they would have us, we risk hurting the culture that we so admire. It is better to start our own group of plain, religious and Biblically based believers. By developing a separate group we can help each other exorcise the bad habits we have developed from this society including; consumerism, inappropriate dressing, lack of compassion and hard-heartedness. Imagine how we could nuture and help each other! If we are fathful to our beliefs and love each other, then maybe we can ask to be supervised by an Amish elder. Anyone interested? I am in western NJ.

        1. Jakob Ammann joined the Amish

          While it cannot be technically said that Ammann “joined” the Amish (since the “Amish” as such got their name from him), it is a fact that Jakob Ammann was baptized into the Reformed Church at Erlenbach em Simmental, Switzerland on Feb. 12, 1644. He was in his 30s when he became an Anabaptist, joining the “Swiss Brethren.”
          The Amish who give the cold shoulder to those trying to join them have certainly lost the evangelistic spirit of Jakob Ammann (dozens of families joined the movement about the time he did. In fact, most common Amish last names can be traced to that time period).
          There are Plain churches that welcome “outsiders,” if those outsiders are willing to live by the teachings of Jesus as understood by their congregation.

          1. Ginny Kingery Jenkins

            You obviously live near an amish community that is unfriendly to have the opinion that they give the cold shoulder.
            I was Amish for 8 years and If I got the cold shoulder treatment, I would not have lasted that long. I am amazed that I havent seen any comments from any who have been a member of the amish church from the outside. I see only a lot of questions.

        2. Traci Banville

          Thankyou, I appreciate your comments.

        3. Wayne

          Anyone interested?

          Yes, extremely interested, so much so that, after 20 years of considering the possibility and examining Amish & Mennonite culture, lifestyle, religious beliefs, etc., I believe the Lord is leading me to take this step of founding a community of believers similar to what you have described. I have concluded, like you, that it simply is not practical to expect to totally convert one’s lifestyle to the strict system the Amish practice. Nor do I think it is desirable. I don’t really want to be Amish and I don’t think they would want me anyway! I simply desire a plain, unencumbered lifestyle, deeply committed to LIVING out my faith with like-minded believers, not in a commune but in a community. I already practice much of the desirable traits the Amish present and desire to be with a group of genuine believers who have similar desires and beliefs. I am finally in a position in life to pursue this goal seriously, perhaps that is why the Lord seems to be nudging me in this direction. Having spent a lifetime in “organized religion,” I simply cannot tolerate it anymore, even though I am an ordained minister of the Gospel. The House Church is most like the early New Testament Church. We have gotten so far away from God’s design for the fellowship of believers. The established church of today simply cannot be fixed. We must start over and go back to the original design. I believe it can be done with God’s help and guidance, and a large dose of humility and servant leadership.
          I’m sorry I am not in your area of NJ, I am in western NY.
          God Bless! (Pray for me!!)

        4. Paula

          So you want to join the Amish

          If I can weigh in here. We joined a very conservative but Mennonite church a dozen years ago. The lifestyle wasn’t that hard for me because my Dad came from a ethnically German church group that was Anabaptist influenced in earlier years. We gardened and sewed and lived pretty frugal lives. We worked hard but you haven’t worked hard until you have been in a Mennonite setting. In our case I was interested in the Mennonites since the 1970s when I read about them in church history, visited Lancaster County numerous times, read Amish Society and all the similar books, etc. After we married, my husband appreciated the Biblical approach they took to applying your faith and over time we visited, met people, moved here and joined a church. Our daughter has grown up here. It is much more like small town American of 50 or 100 yrs ago and people realize that was a much more liveable lifestyle. We were conservative evangelicals, and didn’tlike the way the churches are following the culture, and got into homeschooling, then moved towards the Mennonites because they had preserved many of the Christian understandings other groups have lost. We did not come to change anybody, and it always annoys me when other “seekers” come and immediately start to change things. If they don’t like it, why don’t they go where to do like it, and let us continue as we are?

          I think the appearance of peace and stability draws many people. But if you are a product of American culture that is individualistic rather than group centered, the sociology is going to be hard to adjust to. And if the group does not give much influence to the women, that is going to be hard for them. I worked in corporate America, ran an office of many people, hired and fired. I am constantly bumping into this. I ask other women if their family is going to do xyz, or are they interested in xyz and I usually get “I will see what ______(my husband) says.” My husband and I married with a different understanding and I am free to arrange and commit to many things, but they often are not.

      2. sally mae

        Joining the Amish

        I work with a lot of old order Amish and Mennonite and they are, for the most part, good people as we say. But do not confuse the way they dress and live with the whole of being Amish. I call that the Little House on the Prarie Syndrome. As an elder told me once “anyone cane move to Alabama, joing a hippie commune, and live like we do” (I thought that was funny coming from a very distinguished 70 year old!). The point he was making that the idea of being Amish is really about the peoples attitude toward God first, everything else (dress, buggy, etc) is done out of respect for God and his scriptures.

        1. Joshua

          I thought about joining two different Amish groups. One was Old Order and the other New Order. My first approach was to visit a random Old Order farm several times and buy something they were selling. After several visits and conversations with the owner of the farm about how I could join the Amish, I was referred to the house of the local Bishop of the area. I never went. Part of it was because I was too shy. Just walk up to a random house and ask the Bishop if I can join his church? It just seemed too foolish. If I actually lived in the community that would be different. The other part were the obvious barriers…as much as I enjoyed the thought of travel in horse and buggy, the thought of having to hitch and unhitch in ALL weather conditions (cold, hot, rain etc.), learn PA dutch, and deal with the cultural differences (lots of silence, body language, non-verbal communication) I just decided that wasn’t for me.

          As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am now 3 months into a proving member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church. They still dress plain, they still use some PA Dutch, but mostly English, they are much more receptive to converts, they have a much stronger emphasis on evangelism, they actually LIVE out their faith. They also drive and own cars, have limited computer use…some would even use Facebook! Being a part of this church has been life changing for me. I can only hope that more who desire to live out a plain lifestyle and return to the “old paths” would seriously look into the Beachy Amish Mennonites. There are many Beachy or similar conservative Anabaptist churches throughout the US and in other countries.

          I would strongly suggest to anyone who wishes to “become Amish” to attend a Beachy church for at least a year and see how you like it. If that doesn’t work, and you absolutely must join a more “conservative” Amish group, then I would suggest you do the following first (this is not a complete list but its what I’ve done):

          1) Pick at least one room in your house (I chose my bedroom) and take out all the lights and lightbulbs. Remove anything that requires electricity. The only thing I have allowed myself is a battery-powered lantern. Try reading, thinking, sleeping in the room for about a year and see how you like it.

          2) Dress Amish. If you are a male, go to Wal-Mart and pick up some suspenders for $5, wear them in public and see how you feel and what reactions you get(75% of people thought I was Amish) If you are a female, you can get cape dresses and headcoverings at thrift stores in nearby Amish settlements. Wear them in public and see how it feels.

          3) Learn PA Dutch. There are books available through Pathway Readers that teach you the language if you don’t know of anyone that speaks it.

          4) Second most important thing…don’t watch TV for at least two years. If all else fails you’ll save some electricity and gain some free time. I myself have chosen to never watch TV again as a result of this experiment.

          5) Most important of all…pray and ask if it is God’s will for you to become Amish. Most people just want to dream about being Amish and aren’t very serious. Familiarize yourself with the King James Version of Scripture (my next goal is to read it in German) hide God’s Word in your heart so that others can see Christ in you in word, and in deed.

          Ich hab sell geduh…and I couldn’t be happier 🙂

          1. Lattice

            Joshua, thanks for your very thoughtful post and your good advice.

            I am very happy you found a church you’re comfortable with and devoted to.

          2. Traci Banville
          3. Denise

            Comment to Joshua

            Hello Joshua. Thank you for your wonderful advice on this subject that is near and dear to all our hearts.I have tried many of your suggestions including contacting a Beachy Amish church. I heard of one that was a distance from my house and I was too shy to go there by myself. I communicated with an Elder who was friendly but I was shy and embarrassed to attend. My attire is already plain and modest and I have several dresses ordered by mail from a Mennonite group that I wear. People look at me funny but I smile and it is no matter. Have not tried the room with no electric equipment yet. I look forward to the fellowship of other believers who will not think me strange. I especially enjoy reading the Bible and referring to scripture for inspiration on how to handle different situations. Do the Beachy Amish have Bible study groups? Joshua are you familiar with a Beachy group in the Easton Pa or Western NJ area? Again thank you for taking the time to compile your thoughts and share with us. I appreciate it very much.


            1. Joshua

              Denise, if you are referring to Bible studies in a “small group format” such as would be common in mainstream/community type churches, I’m pretty sure the answer would be no. Perhaps others could correct me if I am wrong, but to my knowledge Bible studies are generally frowned upon by the Amish.

              Mark Curtis (son of Don who posts here often) told me that group Bible studies were not allowed in his community, and I would assume that is still the case today as well as with other Amish groups. Individual Bible study, on the other hand, would be acceptable.

              As for the Beachys, I don’t think there is necessarily a “given” answer to that question as each Beachy congregation is autonomous with its application of Biblical principles. The youth in my church will often have a group Bible study (since they did not grow up Amish) but the older folks probably would not encourage or discourage it since they grew up under the aforementioned Amish mentality.

              Regarding the locations of a Beachy church, your best bet would be to contact Cory, the administrator of the Beachy website at There you can find more specifics on what they believe and practice as well as a very helpful page dedicated to “what to expect” when first visiting the church. Hopefully that helps.

          4. Denise

            Comment to Wayne

            Hello Wayne,

            It sounds like you are heading in the right direction. When you find a fellowship of beleivers it will affirm your journey. Be faithful to your Bible and always know it as the guiding force for every move we make. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and the Holy Spirit who inspires us with wisdom and discernment. I will keep you in my prayers.


      3. Sheila

        Savior of the Amish

        I have enjoyed reading this thread on “So you want to be Amish”. Just about every single response is positive. You seem to have a lust for negativity. Ever heard the saying “LIVE and LET LIVE”. I seriously doubt that any Amish community needs you to “Save” them from the evil English. They have done just fine for 100’s of years without you standing guard.
        Of course you have the right to your freedom of speech. But you sure appear negitive while exercising it. Negative Nancy.

    11. Greg



      I had sent you an email several days ago I wanted to make sure it wasn’t marked as spam. I do understand your a very busy man but also wanted to make sure you received my email. Thank you for your time.

      1. Greg, I just responded to your email, thanks.

        1. Msg for Eric

          Hi Eric,
          How do I delete a post of mine off of here that has my email address on it? I have gotten more responces than I can handle and also, my husband and I are plannimg to move back into the amish community where I am from. For this reason, I will no longer be able to respond to emails? Any help his happily appreciated!

          1. Hi Ginny, I just removed the email. I think it was from this comment:


            Let me know if there is anything else. You can also email me if you like.

            1. Ginny
    12. Greg


      I wish to thank everyone with thier input on what they may do to follow the plain lifestyle. I’ve really enjoyed reading the comments and suggestions. I have always felt a closeness with the plain people and have finally started my transition to leading a humble and plain life. If anyone has other sites that are good forums to also read/share. Thanks in advance

    13. Greg


      I wish to thank everyone who partakes in this forum. I greatly appreciate all the post that are given. I have always felt a closeness for the plain people of this world. I just recently have started to lean towards a modest/plain life. I have been reading the rules of a godly life and following its writings. I once again wish to thank everyone and if anyone else knows of sites that I may look at for a plain lifesytle I would appreciate it.

      1. Ernie Yoder

        An Observation

        I find it interesting how that about 120 years ago the Amish culture was very similar to the non-Amish culture.(Of course the beliefs difffered) There were only a few things that showed a notable difference compared to the huge difference today.

        It looks like the electronic age and all the modern conveniences don’t bring any satisfaction to the soul that seeks peace and rest in fellowship with its creator. Actually all the things available to us today may become our biggest distraction and substitute our time with God.

        E Yoder

        1. Greg

          Reply to Ernie


          I agree with you completely, today’s world is filled with so many evil things that prior generations did not have. I find I do not like electronics anymore as they hold evil things. The kids cartoons are even filled with inproper language or violence for even me yet alone an 8 yr old child. I told an Amish woman the other day that I’m in the wrong generation, I wish I was back about a 100 years ago. I no longer use lights, TV, barely use the computer other then to do research for my beliefs, scripture/devotion findings. This (computer) in the near future will also be going away. I think all these things are not needed to live with GOD and to hopefully live in the house of the Lord.

          1. Valerie

            Amen to your comments

            Ernie & Greg,
            Naturally on this site you will find alot of agreement on these observations & opinions, where I find myself right there with you!
            Greg, I would like to say I’ve had similar thoughts about “why was I born in THIS generation” but then I remember our lives our divinely planned & so there is some purpose we were born at such a time as this-maybe, you are the city on the hill other’s need to see.

            And right off, some very JOYFUL Amish people I have met have a very sunny happy disposition which obviously have nothing to do with
            material things, position in life, etc., because we were made for God’s good pleasure (Rev. 4:11), and when we find OUR pleasure in Him, we are whole in body, mind, spirit & emotions (not that we don’t have trials!)

    14. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Hows things?

      I was wondering if Erik could give an overview update on how, if he can say, his Amish convert acquaintances, how those mentioned in the initial blog post are doing at the end of 2012 compared to 2007? Have they continued to flourish and assimilate into Amish faith culture, have they succeeded in remaining Amish, or have they gone back to, or made a compromise between their Amish life and their old “English” life?
      You don’t have to give names, but I think some of us might be curious to know how things are going with the people you know and people you have been told about.

      1. Shom interesting question, as these were more acquaintances I have not kept up with them other than that the teacher I mentioned is doing pretty well from what I have heard.

    15. traci

      any amish in seattle washington

      Hello everyone im looking for amish familys or people in seattle washington . I want to learn the amish tradition

      1. Traci Banville

        I just want to say that that is not me.

    16. traci

      Any amish people in seattle washington?

      1. Marvin Mohler

        We are relatively new in WA, moving to Zillah in 2008 from IN. We were used to visiting the Amish areas of northern IN several times a year & we miss that a bunch. I’ve inquired & as far I can find out there are no Amish in WA. There are some in MT.

        1. That is right, Traci, Amish do not live in cities and generally not in close proximity to them either, though there are exceptions. Besides Montana as Marvin notes, other Amish in the West can be found in Colorado and Wyoming, but no closer than that to Washington state.

    17. Judy

      When I was eight years old I was adopted and during that time my family took me to Lancaster PA. These past 9 years I have been going to Lancaster and I love seeing the amish there but I was wondering if people can join the amish because I heard from some people that you couldn’t or you could but you had to give up everything in modern world. My other question is even if you are a Christian and you believe in that do you have to switch your religion by joining them ? I was never interested with video games or anything like that like my twin brother was. How old can you be to join the church and do you have to speak german to join the church ?

      1. Traci Banville

        Not again !

        Perhaps it should not bother me as much as it does, but I still have to wonder about the motives of al of these people who want to “join the Amish”. If they admire the way the Amish live, why not emulate them in your own “back yard” ? Find others that feel the same way and start your own community, so to speak. Make up a name for your group, try living without electricity ( do you panic during a surprise power outage because you do not even know where the candles or the flashlight are ?), plant a garden, bake from scratch,do the laundry by hand, etc. If you cannot make it one day without television, fast food, or your computer,you should give up your fantasy of “joining the Amish”. They have enough trouble from outsiders. Why not leave them in peace ?
        Are there websites for people who want to “join the Muslims,the Hindus,the Hasidic Jews” ? I would be curious to know. I am serious.

        1. Ernie Yoder

          Grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

          The Amish lifestyle is atractive to outsiders because of its serene, simple, modest appearance. Remember that is only the ‘window’ that you are looking through when you see the Amish from the ‘outside’. If you are burdened with the pressures of life and stressed out with the ‘fast’ pace of life– of course, the Amish lifestyle will be very appealing. BUT its only an illusion. The Amish have their own pressures and fastpace of life that may be worse than what you are currently experiencing.

          I was Amish for over 40 yrs and taught in an Amish school for 10 yrs. I see the illusion. There are people that have joined the Amish that left again once they experience it instead of just look thru the ‘window.’

          Sure there are some that have joined the Amish that are completely satisfied… but I’d say that is rare.

          Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;(externals) but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.(internal)

          However, we like to think our peace, joy, and righteousness are brought about by externals.

      2. Lance

        Sure, it is possible to join the Amish. As Ernie pointed out, it is rare. Some of the reasons for this rarity is the difficulty of the transition, languages, rules that you cannot understand, traditions you weren’t raised with, and the people who know these things do nothing to ease your way. Imagine sitting a group of about 200 people dressed identically all talking in a language you don’t understand, the loneliness can be overwhelming. That scenario happens every two weeks at church for the outsider that does not know the languages. If you don’t understand the PA Deitsch, you won’t understand what people are saying almost all of the time and if you don’t understand High German, you won’t understand the scriptures they use for their doctrines. Without both of those languages, you won’t get a single thing out of the sermons. You will spiritually starve. You cannot live in two worlds if you are Amish, so your question of whether you have to switch your religion, is not just a yes, but a yes, completely, in all regards. The Amish are a religion, a 24/7/365 every aspect of life lifestyle, a tradition, a all encompassing way of life. As the others pointed out, it is not simple, not carefree, not stress free. Indeed, many people raised Amish have to leave the Amish to get away from the stresses of living that way. Search out names like Moses Gingerich, David Yoder, Mary Byler, Joe Keim, Saloma Furlong. These people all left the Amish for various reasons, all finding the leaving as hard as the staying.

        It is not easy to be Amish, even if you were born and raised that way. It is even harder for the convert/seeker. Despite many difficulties and setbacks, I am not done with the Amish. If you really like it while you are there, it really gets in your bones, and does not leave.

        I have written many comments in this topic. There is a lot of info in those comments about my experiences joining the Amish. Use your browser’s ‘find’ feature to search for my name beginning on about comments page 4 and onwards. The most important point in those comments is that if it is not of faith, joining will most likely fail. Failing results in excommunication and shunning and that hurts severely.

    18. Judy

      So you want to join the amish

      Thank you both for your inputs ! I read the things that you put on here Lance and I understand what you were saying . You could be either not accepted to join the church or you could be and what you were saying about electricity if you can’t live without them than you shouldn’t join I understand that . I understand that if you didn’t know German or PA Dutch I wouldn’t understand what the amish were saying . I would gladly take German in my 11 grade and 12 th grade. I also understand about your beliefs and faith I always took time to search about your religion and the way you all live ! Thank you again !

      1. Lattice

        Good Luck, Judy!

        Hi Judy,

        It sounds as if you’ve given a lot of thought to how difficult becoming Amish might be – both difficulties with acceptance by them, and also difficulties living the lifestyle. It sounds like you’ve given it plenty of thought and are completely determined. Good luck to you with your endeavor!

        I want to encourage you to do one more thing: Go and meet some people in an Amish community. You can initiate contacts by buying something they’re selling, and while you’re shopping around, explain that you are interested in the Amish lifestyle and wonder if they would let you know when they’re doing something that you can learn about and help with (picking produce, canning, butchering chickens/hogs, etc.). Explain this to several people in the community, leave your address, and (as long as you’re not talking to Swartzentrubers) someone will be interested in you too, and will likely invite you for some kind of work (by mail). Then go and help, and learn, and then go some more. Be a hard worker and willing to do what you’re asked. Don’t ask many questions, and don’t talk about yourself or your life (unless asked) however, keep it to a minimum. But LISTEN…listen carefully, and WATCH. You will probably not notice the first few visits, because you’ll be taking in lots of other information, but later on something will become evident to you: The Amish are like everybody else. They’re human beings. They’re faulted and they sin. Yes, overall they keep a close check on their behavior and actions, because the church rules permeate their home life, but they make the same mistakes as everybody else. You’ll see gossip, envy, and pride. You might see worse. The point is, if you’re fed up with how your friends treat each other and hurt each other, you will not (necessarily) find friends with fewer faults in the Amish. They’ll only be dressed the same… Oops, not quite, but you won’t be able to distinguish the differences. Yes, young Amish girls are inclined to humiliate, ostrasize, and ridicule each other based on appearances (how new the fabric is, if it’s ironed, if it’s the latest (acceptable) color, how perfect the sewing is, etc. They’re only human. Go see for yourself.

        If you do become disillusioned, or disenchanted, or any of the other “dis’s,” keep your new Amish friends. There’s still lots to learn and lots to love. After all, they ALL know what’s right and want to live a Godly life. It’s the “human condition” that will make them fall short of our (and God’s) expectations [how many new members of secular churches walk away because of the same disappointments?], but they tend to make great (imperfect) friends.

        And by all means, change your life! Realize that you can do without the trap of consumerism. You can learn to do things for yourself and take care of your needs (with God’s help, of course). You can learn to squelch your prideful nature (present in all humans) as well as live a plain, modest life, losing the desire to earn the favor of man and instead, pleasing God.

        There’s no need to be so determined to join them yet. Just learn from them and watch them with eyes that see.

    19. Willy

      Whew this is a long thread

      I just read all the comments start to finish! WOW! My thoughts: The Amish community isn’t a club you “sign-up” for. Without Christian faith you will not succeed. It has to be absolutely genuine too. The idea of up-rooting my family and moving to Lancaster is a wonderful though. Too bad my wife is not keen on losing her Facebook and department stores. I pray that she one day sees just how garbage like the internet and TV is some day. I would turn the thing off in a minute ( AND IM AN IT PROFESSIONAL). Now that says something. What holds us back is fear and mis-aligned priorities.

    20. Judy

      So you want to be amish

      Thanks Lattice for your advice ! I will try not to be so determine to try to join the amish ! Like you said there are so many thing that I would have to understand and learn to do things that amish do ! I don’t live close to any amish but except for Lancaster PA . I know that no one is perfect ever since I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior ! When I graduat from highschool I will try your advice . Allote of people say that once someone joins the amish they usually don’t make it because it not where they were raised or because they couldn’t go without electricity ! I don’t give my personal life history with someone that I don’t know or unless they were close friends or family . Thank you for the advice !:)

    21. Bob Rosier (Bob the Quaker)

      Willy…yes, I agree that TV is getting so bad and so violent. Now Discovery Channel of all places has the “Amish Mafia” and “Son of a Guns.” I wrote a letter to Discovery pointing out that many people believe the garbage that they transmit to our homes. They use to have some good shows. Also, many people believe what is sent to them on the Internet.

      From what I have learned from my Amish friends, they are not necessarily against all modern technology; they simply have chosen not to be controlled by it. Most non-Amish ARE controlled by it today. Just look around on the streets and in stores and restaurants. With all the texting, we may evolve to a point of having large thumbs and no speech. 🙂

      As a Quaker, I normally look for the good in everything. Sorry if I sound so negative !

    22. Traci Banville

      I have a feeling they have been showing “Witness” on cable again.

    23. james

      Tired of the common world and it’s teachings and really the modern day run-race of what the world considers right, and the UN-simple ways that are offered to me are not what i wish for, i desire simple life and home as a unity, what steps are needed to become a part of the Amish community and way of life which is how i desire to raise my 3yr old?
      I am a high-end painter of 34yrs and a on-line net-worker to offer to this way of life. presently living in the Hendersonville,Tn area from Arkansas, please, only serious response from a member of the Amish of Tennessee
      Cell, 479-244-0378

      1. Lance

        In your post, you never mention God, faith or religion at all. The Amish are first and foremost a religion. If you don’t completely share that faith, don’t try this, as the failure rate is very very high in that case, like 101%. The Amish are not a refuge from a rotten world, they are a whole world onto their own created by a view of the Bible that most of the rest of the world does not share. If you join and later leave whether your choice or theirs, it will hurt, a lot, more than words can tell.

        Take S.H.O.M.’s advice, it is great council.

        There are Amish near you, in the Ethridge, Bruceton and McKenzie, TN areas. Out of state, but still not too far are Mayville, KY and Randolph, MS. Non-Amish plain people can be found near Lobelville,TN and the Old Order Mennonites at the Todd/Christian Co line area of KY.

        Your phone number on this blog will not help you directly contact any Amish because Amish do not read this blog, at least not of the orders to be found on that area. Indeed, most of the Amish in the areas I indicate do not have phones of any kind, nor indoor plumbing, nor electricity other than battery flashlights, no computers, internet, smart phones, etc. If you think that is ridiculous and has no effect on going to heaven, get out not while you can, because the Amish are taught that those things(phones, plumbing,electricity,SMV symbols,etc) are all so worldly that having them causes separation from God that makes salvation impossible. You can lose all you have gained in an instant if you deceive them.

        I have written a lot of info about joining the Amish in this topic, too much to go over again. Use your browser’s find feature to search my name, ‘Lance’, and go back to page 4 of the comments and go forward. Others have also provided a lot of help for seekers. Be sure to read about divorce, remarriage, the vows you take, it is not your choice alone, etc.

        1. James

          OK, Two weeks ago i was introduced to God/Christ, so i am very new to this world has well but it had a very strong impacted and a decision to live with in a community for making the change of simple life, with simple housing functions!

          I have done a lot of work with involvement on Self sustainable Communities and have net-worked them for 10-yrs. i also helped to start a couple with in the Ar,Mo areas and the last three yrs have visited several from Ar,Mo,NC,Sc,FL with no satisfaction of wanting to live with,nor get involved with for the fact of different beliefs of what a community should be. so what about Mennonites, are other smiler community religious communities. I live Sumner County,Tn

          1. Lance

            I don’t know the whereabouts of most Mennonites. The Mennonites are as or more diverse than the Amish. And they are more widespread too. Many are not living a distinctive lifestyle at all, and some are more conservative than most Amish. One of these very conservative communities is near Scottsville, KY. Exactly where, I don’t know, if you went to town and looked for buggy wheel scratches on the roads, you might be able to follow them and find the community. You might ask too, but don’t be surprised if you get weird looks or even hostile answers. Many people hate the plain people that live amongst them, while others adore them.

            I cannot tell you where to go. You will have research that for yourself. There are many different paths in the plain people’s world, so you will have to look for yourself and decide which one you agree with best. Good luck and God be with on your search.

            Since you are new to Christianity, get a King James(also called Authorized version) Bible and read the New Testament several times slowly, carefully and thoroughly.

            God Bless you.

    24. Slightly-handled-Order-man


      Bob the Quaker posted this on June 20th, 2012:

      “If you are serious about joining the Amish, here is a way to start. Go to your main house circuit breaker, and pull the switch. Give this at least a few weeks.

      Also, keep in mind that Mennonites and Quakers have many of the views of the Amish with less constraints.

      Maybe you just need to change your life style.

      An Amish man was once asked if outsiders could join the Amish community. His reply was “you do not have to move here to adopt a lifestyle of simplicity and discipleship. You can begin wherever you are.”

      Another Amish man wrote a note in Small Farm Journal. He proposed “An Amish Challenge” as follows:

      If you admire our faith, strengthen yours
      If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours
      If you admire our community spirit, build your own
      If you admire our simple life, cut back
      If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself”

      The last part of the posting, the list or “Challenge” is probably the most important to people seeking an Amish lifestyle.

      1. james

        I wish to live with in a community like i stated,
        James, cell 479-244-0378

        1. Lattice

          James, start with a church community. You will learn the basic Biblical teachings, and you will get a small dose of what it’s like to have people loving you, while also scrutinizing you. If you’re a little put off by the “intrusion” of your church family, just imagine it about 100 times…

          If you want to begin steps toward a “plain” existence, go to and ask for info about a nearby Anabaptist church you can visit. There’s one about an hour from you.

          Baby steps. People who are so eager to go “all in” without growing in knowledge are also quick to go “all out.” Visit a church, sit on the side with the men, and take it slowly.

      2. Denise

        To Bob the Quaker,

        Thank you for your response especially the Amish Challenge. However it would appear that James is not listening. To meet the Challenge and have Amish values in your heart I would recommend that you finish a Bible based ministry and grow in your understanding of our Lord and what it means to live the life that Christ wants us to live. Be aware of how you treat others (they are our brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of whether you may agree with them) and understand what you treasure in life. Because what you treasure is where your heart is. Most importantly the Amish believe that whatever happens in our lives and whereever we find ourselves, is where God wants us to be. For James, please know that God will guide you if you look to him. No phone call or internet site can put you where God needs you to be. Read your Bible and pay attention to Paul’s letters to the Phillipians and Isaiah. There is wisdom there on how we must live. Lifestyle first comes from our hearts and then spreads outward. Rest in Christ.



          Perhaps James wants to raise his child with in the walls of a community and leave the world of Babalon!! And maybe i should look toward the Rainbow Family because they refuse no-one!!

      3. Sam

        Quoting; Slightly-handled-Order-man

        If you admire our faith, strengthen yours
        If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours
        If you admire our community spirit, build your own
        If you admire our simple life, cut back
        If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself”

        If you want to fellowship and you have no one, join us.

    25. Bob Rosier (Bob the Quaker)

      I believe that one of the reason there has been so much talk about joining the Amish, is that it is an entire community that believes in a true Christian lifestyle. It is always heartwarming and desirable to have like-minded people in your life. Our country has become so divided and so much more violent over the past decade that I can certainly understand seeking a safe haven in an Amish community.

    26. Traci Banville

      TWO weeks ago ?

      I never cease to be amazed.

      1. Valerie

        How's It Going Traci?

        You enjoying your new life in Orthodox Jewish faith?

        1. Traci Banville


          Apparently my sarcasm escaped more than one of the commenters here.
          That is sad and very worrying. I pity the Amish. I hope they start building very high walls around their communities, with sturdy locked gates and sentries posted to keep out the “undesireables”. It may be their only hope but it will be a shame for them and for the people who enjoyed seeing them and their farms, buying their wares, BUT respected them enough to leave them alone !

          1. Ernie Yoder

            Traci.. Building walls reminds me..

            Your comment on building walls reminded me of our study on ‘the great wall of China’ when I was teaching in an Amish school. (I was Amish at the time) As we read the lesson in Social Studies I remember the wall was to be build for protecting ten thousand generations. Someone wanted total control and keeping the people uninformed(ignorant). What value does that great wall have today? It is nothing more than a tourist attraction

            Here is what jolted me. A statement in the lesson read like this,”The defenses of man have always failed. The trust in the Lord is replaced with walls of mans reasoning.”

            I will never forget how that impacted me as I stepped back and observed the exact same thing in our community. I’m NOT saying the Amish aren’t saved. I AM saying the Amish have NO ADVANTAGE.
            They are seriously challenged with issues of the heart- even if they can appear to keep the outside clean.

            I amcurrently dealing with Amish families that are severely challenged with these contradictions. I am not encouraging them to leave the Amish… I am trying to help them overcome their negative feelings toward others. These issues are serious.. and aren’t based on hores & buggy, electricity, etc… we are talking LOVE for each other… which shows we ARE DISCIPLES.


          2. Lance


            The Amish are in no way threatened as a group by a single person or even a couple with children attempting to join them. There are many levels of resistance to attempts to change them coming from the outside and its people. No one should worry that outsiders will destroy the Amish or their way. Any destruction of the way comes from interior drift of the Amish people themselves.

            Do not worry about seekers wrecking the Amish. The Amish already have many ‘walls’ against such in place and no outsider will knock them down. While I was Amish, I saw those walls in effect, do not worry at all. In my opinion based on my experiences on the inside, your fears of the Amish being corrupted by seekers are unfounded.

            1. nelson

              Amish threatened??

              Amen Lance,,,,,
              Did you never hear the saying,” You cannot fight “City Hall” and win??” even if they are wrong.

              1. Lance

                If anyone would know about fighting with ‘wrong’ Amish, it would be you. After 25 years of failure in changing their minds, you gave up and left your heritage for more spiritually minded people. No, you cannot change ‘City Hall’, if it does not want to be changed.

                Let’s all stop worrying about if a seeker will wreck the Amish and put our effects into helping people find the place God wants them to be on this earth and in the afterlife. May God’s will be done in everyone’s life, even if that means joining the Amish church somewhere.

            2. Traci Banville

              It only takes one “bad apple “. Inside or outside.

      2. Ginny Jenkins

        @ Traci,

        Did someone from a plain church angry you and caused your bitterness. Have you read any of your posts lately, People dont enjoy reading constant negativity and sacasm. I enjoy reading these post until I come to your constant sarcastic remarks. You have done nothing but judge. If you are so annoyed by everyones comments, and can’t handle everyones insight, I suggest you leave the group. If you decide to comment to me negatively. Don’t expect me to answear. Thats not why we are here. Negativity can go elsewhere.
        Judge not lest ye be judged.

    27. Lattice

      I’ve always been just a wee bit perplexed by the passionate outbursts directed toward those who think they might be interested in joining the Amish.

      It’s none of my business, of course, but I’ve often wondered why you, Traci, have adopted the position and purpose of warding of the “evil” seekers in an attempt to protect the Amish communities. If indeed Amish communities were completely closed, their potential to thrive would be perilously limited. Plus, they would be rejecting Christ’s “great commission.”

      And we’re all familiar with the site’s success stories, such as Ed and Mark, who have undoubtedly been an encouragement to those in their communities.

      At one point I wondered if there was any significance to the name “Ban” ville. Probably just a coincidence – was only trying to make some sense and gain a deeper understanding of the responses. Did you really join the Jews?

      1. Lattice

        warding “OFF” the evil seekers…

      2. Traci Banville

        My name ?

        That is really reaching, Lattice. Should I ask if your mother named you after her favorite pie crust ? Really !
        My comment about joining the Orthodox Jews was supposed to be a sarcastic dig at “So You Want to Join the Amish” as in “So You Want to Join the Hasidm” which would be the Jewish counterpart to the Old Order Amish. How presumptious would that be and haven’t they had enough “interference” by outsiders.
        I hope that Lance is right and that there is no cause for worry in the case of the Amish.I trust that they know a con artist when it is obvious but everyone can be fooled once and that is my concern.
        My “passionate outbursts” come from my heart.If I did not care I would not say anything but when the very first comment after yours to me is from yet another who has been “converted” by watching a movie,doesn’t it make you wonder what these people really want and how pure their motives are ?

        1. Lattice

          Point taken, Traci. Yes, I would have to agree that some of the “can you help me become Amish” requests strike me as being immature, in the same dreamy, “greener grass” hopefulness of teenagers/college-aged people. Some seem to lack the ability to think things through.

          On the other hand, to some degree, I can relate.

          I want to be quick to point out that, as long as I’m not too offended, I can recognize a quick-witted, intelligent sense of humor (yours). And I don’t know what my mother was thinking…

        2. Merrie

          Protecting the Amish

          Hi Traci,

          I’m just getting caught up after a while away from this site. (Thank you Erik for running this!)

          I think the best thing that can be said about “protecting” the Amish, conservative Mennonites, Dunkards, etc., is to let it be. That is 100% out of your control. People will go where the Lord leads them. You cannot stop them.

          A person coming to any church community who is not genuinely seeking will resist being corrected by the church. In the congregation nearest to me someone did attempt to integrate themselves into the community. She did not accept guidance from women of the church and attempted to gain sympathy instead. The leaders eventually forbade the members from having her in their home.

          Let it be. Let God separate the wheat from the chaff.


      3. Ernie Yoder

        The Great Commision- is an 'offence' to the Amish

        A recent post above mentioned concern that the Amish may be found rejecting the Great Commission. They deliberately reject the Great Commission- the New Order Amish may be a possible exception.

        A young Amish man was strongly rebuked for going into prison and sharing the Gospel. He never went again for fear of ‘offending’ the church.

        The Amish church I was a member of was offended when one of the ministers preached at a non-Amish funeral. He was rebuked before the whole congregation. He repented because he didn’t want to ‘offend’ the church.

        Some of the hungry young Amish families wer coming together for weekly Bible studies – – until the church found out about it. You’re right… that had to stop because the church was offended.

        Would you conclude that these people love the Truth or would you say that they are ‘offended’ with Truth?

        There are many more examples I could give- but that should suffice in order for you to understand my question below.

        Dear reader, how would you explain the following scripture? or where would this scripture apply?

        2Th 2:10b ….because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
        2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

        1. Lattice

          I’m a little dense. I read this twice (with interest) before realizing that your “Great Commission” reference might have something to do with what I wrote earlier.

          I don’t know Ernie. I hear you… really,I do. It’s just that I have been exposed to a few different religious groups and have never been convinced that any one of them was “doing it right” through and through. I personally prefer the practice of showing God’s love through deed. I believe that’s scriptural. Taking the time to feed the family and do the chores of a neighbor in need might be just as valuable to God as running over to Timbuktu, grasping a stranger’s arm, and asking if they’ve been saved.

          An Amish group with good leadership focuses on sacrificing their personal desires for the good of their neighbor. That’s about as close to what Jesus taught as any religious group I’ve known.

          I’ve seen Amish and Mennonites show up for flood and tornado relief, and no, they didn’t give their testimonies to the tragedy victims; they put a roof on their house instead. It’s a testimony in and of itself. Worldly people don’t seem to have any misunderstanding about who the Amish are representing.

          That’s my thoughts on the Amish and the Great Commission.

          Regarding the man who repented of preaching an English funeral due to offending his brethren. Sure, that might ruffle my feathers – my shamelessly prideful self. But Paul tells us not to offend our brothers and sisters in Christ – even if what we do is not wrong in God’s sight – because the negative feelings it may cause could be a stumbling block for them. We might just need to swallow the bitter pill.

          And the Bible study? What might be the message that others get when a few meet privately to second guess God’s ordained? I can see things from both perspectives, can’t you? Maybe it would hurt my pride if I weren’t allowed meet; Maybe it would hurt my heart if others were choosing to meet outside of the gatherings of the whole church family.

          I really don’t disagree with you…

          And I really don’t disagree with any other religious group, that is, when I look at things from their perspective. I’m just not sure we will ever get it perfect here, until Jesus returns. By now, haven’t you discovered things in your present church that are, at least, inadequate? In need of a thorough Bible-ing?

          What I DO know is that if we REALLY loved God with all our heart, and REALLY loved our neighbor as ourselves, we would really have no desire to explain ourselves or our points of view. And there would be no sin at all.

          1. Ernie Yoder

            Lattice, I felt just like you when I was Amish.....

            Can you imagine Paul & Silas in jail for fixing a neighbors roof?

            Can you imagine the Apostles being martyred for going to a workday in the neighborhood?

            The Reformation.. Can you imagine Anabaptists being burned at the stake for cleaning windows for a poor widow?

            I trust you see my point… True Christians were tortured and martyred for their confession and profession of their beliefs… not merely for good works.

            Remember how the religious people responded to True Christians?? They said, Don’t preach like that, Don’t have Bible study, Don’t have secret prayer meetings, etc, etc.. or you will be punished. This is precisely how many of the Amish are responding today!! I notice they are saying, exactly, (word for word) what the state church said to the Anabaptists 500 years ago.

            Have we really lost our vision.. are we really blinded by the enemy so that we measure a religious people by good works even though they don’t want their people to learn deeper Truths in the Word of God? I weep and weep at the deception that is amongst us Amish & Mennonites… and yet we have a name that we are rich and in need of nothing.. and knowest not that our manmade system is wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

            The Amish lifestyle never saved anyone and never will. Give Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone!!

            1. Lattice

              I appreciate your thoughtful response.

              No, I cannot imagine any of the examples you listed in our present-day Western world. But something in me trusts that if ANY religious group as a whole (I’m not talking about a handful of courageous believers) would choose death over renouncing their faith, it would be the Amish.

              I am not oblivious to the difficulties that come about when religious leaders legislate lifestyle and practice in order to maintain Christian principles (even though members have agreed to submit to their authority). The difficulties always arise because of pride.

              And I also know what happens when every man does that which is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).

              Still, I agree with you. When people recognize their lifestyle as God pleasing, there is a tendency to rest there. But that doesn’t mean that the actions are wrong…the hearts are wrong! I personally know that sneaking feeling that creeps up when I (for example) see women in secular groups dressed provocatively (who know what the Bible says about how we should practically live our lives). That sneaking feeling makes me feel like the Pharisee praying in the Temple. Get thee behind me Satan!!

              But Ernie, that’s not a fault with the principle of modest dress. That’s a fault with Lattice. In a million years I would not say that dressing modestly makes me better in the sight of God, but I would be a liar if I denied having viewed others in a negative light for not doing so.

              So the challenge is to humbly accept the guidelines of the Church leadership. What we wear and what we use in daily living surely means nothing to God. But there is a principle behind every one of those things. If we embrace the actions but ignore the principles, we’re like the Pharisees! But if we embrace the principles behind our actions, and fall prostrate on the ground in front of Holy God, then we are much better able to lay up for ourselves treasure in Heaven, rather than reveling in the trappings of this world.

              No, it doesn’t get you to Heaven. But I am convinced that, if we keep a humble heart, it the easiest way to stay our minds on Jesus.

            2. Lattice

              “are we really blinded by the enemy so that we measure a religious people by good works even though they don’t want their people to learn deeper Truths in the Word of God?”

              Did you/could you ever see that experience from their point of view?

              1. Ernie Yoder

                From their point of view.. indeed I did and still do.

                I do indeed see their point of view… very clearly. I was part of that team for over 40 years. I understand that system very well. As a school teacher I never dreamed that I would leave the Amish, but, as God revealed more and more contradictions in beliefs and then I see them deliberately ignoring Gods Word- because thats how our forefathers did it. (this grieved my spirit).. I soon saw that this is not going to where I want to go.

                Jesus said, ” I come in my Fathers name, and ye receive me not. Another will come in his own name – him will ye receive.”

                My observation is very clear, “Obedience to traditions is considered more important than the the Word of God.” I have seen that over and over. So I guess this will raise a question,”If a person is unable to ‘live’ for Jesus (receptive & obedient to His Word) how can such a person die for Him. If we seek to compromise His Word in life… we are sure to seek to compromise once we face death. There is no way we will die for something we refuse to live for.

                1. Lattice

                  I printed what you wrote and read it very carefully in an attempt to better understand.

                  My experience pushes me to see a system that is completely effective in promoting humility and obedience.

                  Perhaps your experience causes you to see all the failings in that system. But I believe that the failings are due to people choosing to ignore the purpose of the system and the condition of his/her own heart. Having attended both OO Amish and OO Mennonite church, I simply cannot see where they are denied the opportunity to know and love God.

                2. Lattice

                  Forgive me! I wrote this in a hurry, and read it to seem unkindly contentious.

                  1. Ernie Yoder

                    I appreciate your post, Lattice

                    I really do appreciate your post, Lattice. Why? Because you have spoken for many people that feel just as you do.

                    There is no need to apologize… honestly, I’m not offended.

                    This is much to important to cast aside as offensive or contentious.

                    Points of study to consider…(This is certainly not exhaustive)

                    Eve added to the Word of God…(God never mentioned ‘touch’) Eve wanted to help God by adding to His Word. “…neither are we to touch it, lest we die”. Today we have a tendacy to reason that Gods promises are a little short therefore we must add our own ‘arm of flesh’. In Timothy we read that Eve was deceived- Adam wasn’t.

                    The Hebrew Children looked to their own makings (golden calf) as their deliverer. Read Gods response in Exodus 32. Today there are people with their own fabrications which help to deliver them. Did God change? Will He give His glory to another?

                    In II Tim. 4 we read of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Notice the examples Paul gives… commanding(to abstain from meats) and forbidding (to marry) A priest is forbidden to marry so as to dedicate his work to God. No meat on Friday except fish- in honor of Jesus’ body being broken on Friday. Both occasions seem harmless on the surface.. to live that way is fine… to push that upon others (commanding & forbidding) becomes seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. These laws become our focus and replace, yes, I said replace God’s law.

                    The last verse in Col.2 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

                    I must repeat… we must look deeper than what appears on the surface.

                    1. Lattice

                      Your response is thoughtful and intelligently written. Your point about forcing doctrines onto others is understood and well-taken.

                      I enjoy studying these things. Typically, they serve as reminders of just what filthy, rotten rags my attempts at pleasing God by deed really are…how unholy I am next to His holiness. But still, I am thankful for how sacrificial acts have the ability to redirect my focus to Him. That’s where I want to be – walking humbly with Him.

                      Just curious – do you think that, because of your experience as an Amish man, you hold the Amish to a higher standard than other Christians?

                      1. Ernie Yoder

                        Higher Standard

                        I honestly don’t think I am holding the Amish at a higher standard. There is no advantage of anyone’s salvation by being a member of the Amish. We have Amish that will tell you the same thing.
                        We also have Amish that view themselves superior to all other Christians. Overall, with a few exceptions here and there, the Amish believe that when a person leaves the Amish that person is turning away from God.

                        Self-righteousness, regardless of denomination or beliefs, will ultimately exalt itself or its doctrine instead of our Lord Jesus Christ.

                        Do you know of a people that make doctrines out of their own commandments? Jesus spoke of such…

                        Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
                        Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men,

                        Yes I have a lot of interaction with the Amish. And believe me, there are all kinds… including true Christians. 🙂 These will focus on our Lord instead of traditions and commandments of men.

                        I do have great concern for some of the beliefs of ‘my people’.

          2. Valerie

            Understanding formers

            Lattice, I appreciate your perspectives on accepting religious groups of various kinds and true, we all don’t get it right here.
            The problem is, and what many fail to realize, is that the Amish don’t agree with you. IF they’re children leave for another Christian faith outside of Amish, say, even Mennonite, they are then shunned by their own families. I’ve heard heartbreaking experiences from my friends who simply wanted to worship Christ in Spirit and Truth, and can see the error of “doctrines of men” but then are cast out of their communities and families-treated as if they were in serious sin, when in reality they want a deeper walk with Christ as Ernie is trying to convey. Good reason to shun your children? My former Amish friends have a deep love for their people-a love that wants them to know the truth and to return to the foundation that the blood of Christ bought for us. Not so we could create a new foundation, as if His blood was not necessary.
            A man with experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument. We have a friend who was shunned for 25 years because he became Baptist. What would Christ say about this I ask you to really think about this.

            1. Lattice

              Hi Valerie.

              Thank you. Yes, I am quite familiar with the practice of shunning, and yes, if its purpose to encourage restoration to the fold is ineffective or wrongfully used, it is quite heartbreaking, indeed.

              1. Valerie

                The Fold

                Yes Lattice,
                When an Amish parent knows their child is living for God but cannot have a relationship with them for 25 years because they don’t recognize there are “folds” outside of their own fold- then it is wrong. When a father/mother relationship is severed because of a church rule-a rule that is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and there are decades of separation-then who will the father & mother be accountable to for this kind of treatment? This is why there are ministries to help children that have been cast off for wanting to read their Bibles & walk with Christ instead of the warning of “teaching as commandments the doctrines of men” (Matthew 15:9, Jesus words). I love the Amish people too, but know sooo many hurt for wrong reasons.It makes it difficult to keep overlooking defense at “some” not “all” issues that need the Light of Christ to reveal.
                There is an awakening on the rise I believe, thanks to formers who are trying to reach & teach than an Ordnung is not to take place of what the Holy Spirit is meant to do in a real walk with Jesus Christ.

                1. Greg Wright

                  A reply to Valerie's comment

                  I read with interest you comment Valerie. What I understand from everything that has been talked about is there are Gods rules and Amish rules. Its the same where we all live too. Some of their’s seem not to make sense to us but I am sure they don’t make snap judgements. We should NEVER critisize what different rules they have. Ours are not that great either. I can’t imagine how hard it is for one to turn his/her back on their offspring. What happens if its the fellow that helped make the rules and it is his kid ?

                  ALL must obey… without it there would be chaos. It’s only in modern times that there has been so much made out of it but if one wants to get back in one must repent and start again (I believe)I don’t know for sure though if thats the way it is or not. I know if I had broke all my parents rules and I did something really bad I would be shunned. How bad is bad ? I’m not sure. As I lived in a liberal farming community I could get away with alot more than a near-by area where there were more stricter families from a different religion that lived in that area. Heck ! even one of my aunts and uncles were of the Bretheren and they could have no T.V. or radio. It was very strict at their home and the kids had to tow the line …thats just the way it was.

                  This is a great discussion topic but I fear that in the end it’s really a persons opinion on what is right or wrong. There are many good or bad points in any religion or places we all live or rules.

                  1. Valerie

                    Shunning for right or wrong reasons

                    Thank you Greg, I know the explanations given by the Amish for this. Yes we all do have rules. The difference is when we change the Gospel message of salvation from grace through faith in Jesus Christ, to obeying rules in addition to,-as our way of salvation. This would make the blood of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit of no effect. It is a new foundation different than was laid by Jesus Christ and Him crucified. There is a difference in excommunicating because of ‘sin in the camp’ and shunning a God fearing child because of a faith in Jesus Christ outside of Amish belief system. One does not become born again by becoming Amish. Nor can one making a child stay Amish be the means of them having salvation. When an person Amish sees this Light, then they are rejected-possibly shunned for voicing it.
                    A careful study of the Gospel and a close examination of the book of Galations will be helpful in understanding what I’m trying to say. Yes I am familiar with the pat answers you are referring to. Always the explanation given. By grace we have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not of works lest any man should boast.(Ephesians 2:8,9)There will be accountability wrongful shunning before God., I believe.
                    When a father burns a son’s Holy Bible (dif. story)that shows fear.Again, search the scriptures, the problem is not with what I am saying, it is with what Jesus said & His apostles regarding salvation and proper shunning. This is more of a problem in Old Order communities, by the way. We all need to examine if we are truly born again, and know the true Gospel message.

    28. ikilifi levaci

      amazing life

      i live in the south pacific on the island of fiji and have seen as technology
      grows spritual lives go down im not saying that its bad its just that we
      have to limit the use of it as little as possible.i firmly belive a
      person with will live this way then i came cross an amish film
      and was amazed to see them. plizz how can i get intouch with
      one of you amish out there.

      1. Ikilfi: You wont hardly get in touch with any Old Order Amish by electronic means. A few use the Internet in their work related environments, but they generally dont browse.
        Your closest contact with a conservative Anabaptist community is probably in Australia. Visit for contact information for Rocky Cape Christian Community. There are also some smaller Mennonite groups in Australia.

      2. Don Curtis

        Contacting an Amish person

        Hello Ikilifi,
        I mentioned your request to write to an Amish person. My son, Mark, who joined the Amish said that he would correspond with you if you cared to write. He joined the Amish about ten years ago.
        His address is:
        Mark Curtis
        9417 County Road 101
        Belle Center, OH 43310-9589

        1. Traci Banville

          The Amish do not "recruit" and yet .......

          Why on earth would anyone encourage someone as far away as Fiji by inviting him to write to them ? There are enough books that someone interested in the Amish could be advised to read to see if they are serious or just fantasizing about a different lifestyle.
          Anyone seeking spirituality can choose from a plethora of religions and read about them. Why do they have to contact an actual member of the Amish community for information?
          And to Don Curtis – While I respect your son’s decision to “join the Amish” ( he may be the exception) I do not understand your need to “recruit” or to “encourage” others to do the same when you do not do so yourself.

          1. Traci what I do not understand is the need you seem to feel to ‘police’ these discussions.

            Have you considered the idea that Don’s son may simply enjoy corresponding with someone from Fiji? Or that Mark is a member of a New Order Amish church that may see certain forms of outreach such as this as part of its mission? And then I wonder why would it be your business who Mark or anyone would freely choose to correspond with?

            Another question is how do you make the leap that Don is encouraging people to join the Amish? Do you even know whose initiative it was to share? And to this curious writer in Fiji, you suggest reading books about the Amish–do you know the accessibility of such materials in that country? Why are you trying to restrict discussion here? I am curious, as Amish might put it, what are you really after?

            I understand that you have taken on the banner of defending the Amish from seekers here, however necessary or unnecessary that might actually be, but I think you are looking for targets and this is an exaggeration. There are valid elements to your message but it gets diluted with challenges to innocuous pen pal offers.

            And Don you will always be welcome to share here. Your and Mark’s contributions have really enriched this site, thank you again for taking the time.

            1. Merrie

              Comment on "The Amish do not "recruit" and yet ......."

              Hi Erik,

              I was glad to see your response on this. 🙂

              There used to be a time when having a penpal was a great way to get to know someone and their way of life. I’m grateful that it’s still that way for some people. Imagine writing to someone in Fiji and not just sharing cultural views but religious views as well. Writing was how my youngest daughter got to really know her future husband while he served in Iraq. Letters are great doors!

              Traci, what I have to say to you is said gently. Please read my words that way. Many books about the Amish are not very accurate and I would not encourage someone to “research” a religion and way of life that way. As for fantasizing about a different lifestyle, people may be actually experiencing “nudges” from the Lord about the way they need to go in their spiritual life. That is how it was with me. It is how I finally accepted His forgiveness and love. I did not become Amish or conservative Mennonite, but I do cover and dress modestly. I accept and fully believe in the headship order. I have fellowship with other Anabaptists even though I am too far away to attend services.

              What really bothers me is that you believe that people should seek spirituality from “a plethora of religions and read about them”. To put it simply, no. There is only one God and He gave us only one Son. There is no other acceptable way but to believe in Him. Read “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. Friends of ours are friends with this family. His son was 6 when he experienced heaven. He is now 12. It is an amazing story.

              Finally, Traci, followers of Jesus Christ do not “recruit”. We do encourage people to read the Bible, starting with Acts if you are new to the Bible. We cannot recruit, we can only be children of God and witness to others. Some who hear or see us will open their hearts, others will shut them tight. Some will choose false gods, such as money, power, etc. for what they can gain in this life only. Some will choose a plain life, others (such as myself) will live in the world while setting ourselves visibly apart. I WANT the world to know what He has done for me.


              1. Traci Banville

                To Merrie

                Apparently you have never had a Jehovah’s Witness or Latter Day’s Saint attempt to recruit you. I have, and they were NOT successful.

                1. Merrie

                  To Traci

                  I know what you are thinking about, Traci. I don’t count them. A person truly led by the Spirit will not recruit. I disregard anyone who comes to my door. They are normally required to be there, not led. My covering normally says it all. 🙂

                  1. Marcie

                    To Merrie

                    Hello Merrie,
                    I completely agree with what you said about your covering “saying it all”. Although I’m not Amish or Mennonite, but do consider myself Anabaptist, I’ve been covering and dressing “plain” now for almost a year and a half. When a person wears a cover, they are announcing silently that they are for the Lord. No recruitment necessary. People will be drawn to them asking questions.

          2. Don Curtis

            Writing to Mark

            To answer your comments, Traci. First of all, I am not encouraging anybody to join the Amish. I call up Mark and read him some of the posts I feel he might be interested in. Or, posts that I am interested in and what his input on. Secondly, Mark has made his address open to anybody to write to him whether from Fiji or Findlay, Ohio. Mark feels that this is one way he can carry out the “Great Commission” to evangelize for Christ. Like he says, he’ll probably never make it to Fiji, himiself. But, perhaps he can do something for the Lord there, anyway, by way of a letter or two. There are Amish leaving all the time to do just that all over the world. Some from Mark’s community were just in El Salvador. As we speak, some are in Haiti. Others leave soon for Hurricane Katrine rebuilding in Texas. Mark, at 60, and with some health and arthritis issues is not as likely to go on these trips as some of the twenty year olds but he can write a letter to those who inquire. Mark has said that the Bible says that we are always to be ready to give an account of our faith in Christ to anybody who asks. Finally,you are entitled to your opinion but frankly it is none of your business who Mark writes to. If folks feel that my comments or Mark’s for that matter are unwelcome here I won’t post, anymore.

            1. Merrie

              Don - Traci's Comments


              Please continue to post here! I really value what you have to say. I am also interested in what your son’s input might be on issues.



            2. Lance

              I agree with Merrie, keep posting, Don.

              I value your thoughtful comments much more than someone else’s knee-jerk reactions.

              Thanks for all you have said here already, Don, (and by extension, Mark). Please don’t go away.


            3. Lattice

              I agree, Don! You’re a favorite around here, and Mark, too (by proxy) 🙂

            4. Marvin Mohler

              Don, keep writing. You knee jerkers, forget it!

            5. Linda

              Don, in my eyes you seem like the grandfather of our “Amish America family.” Thank you for your enjoyable input on a variety of subjects. Please continue.

            6. Sheila

              Don, please keep posting

              Hey Don, please keep posting. I find this topic very interesting and you posts are a valuable contribution. Although I don’t personally know Traci, it appears tht God is still working on a filter for her negativity.

          3. Ginny Jenkins

            Did it ever occur to you that maybe his health wont allow it??? You really upset me to judge my friends so harshly like this when you have NO IDEA WHO THEY EVEN ARE! How can you be so rued and judgemental! I know Don Curtis and his son Mark Curtis personally.

            Mark is in his 50’s His father is at least 20 years older than that and is not in a time of his life where making such a life altering decision like this would be a good idea.

            Lady! You need to seriously consider yourself b4 judging other people like this. I lived in this same Amish community that Mark Curtis lives in now. I lived there 8 years! Mark joined the community about 5 years after I did. His dad moved to Florida for his health and that is his business. NOT YOURS!

            I am very glad and surprised to see you on here Mr. Don. Please tell Mark I said Hi. I’ll see him around sometime if ever there is a community event, (wedding, funeral etc.)

            1. Ginny Jenkins

              I’m sorry, I stand corrected, Mark is 60. When I lived there he was in His 50’s.

              Don you may or may not remember me. I was the single Amish girl convert that lived in Bellecenter there before I left in 2008.

              1. Don Curtis

                Hi Ginny

                Hi Ginny,
                This is Don Curtis, Mark Curtis’s father. I don’t know if I remember meeting you, myself however I mentioned your name to Mark and he remembered you right away although he didn’t remember your married name. Mark is doing fine. He is indeed 60 now. His birthday was in August. But, then again, I am 90. I no longer live in Florida. I moved to Florida to help care for my older brother who had had a stroke. Well, it went into Alzheimer and he got to the point where I couldn’t be of much help, anymore. Also, I was getting into my upper 80’s and I decided I wanted to live closer to Mark. Mark started looking around and found and purchased a little house for me right in the village of Belle Center. So, Mark came down with one of the boys and helped me pack up. My nephew drove the U-Haul truck up and I’ve lived in Belle Center now about three years.

                1. Debbie


                  What part of Florida did you live in? I am in the Daytona Beach area. No Amish here. I know there is a settlement in Sarasota called Pinecraft. I would move to Pinecraft or Ohio if it wasn’t for family and my husbands cancer. He wants to be near family and most of his family is here. I think I would seriously chamge to Amish faith if a community was in this area.


                  1. Don Curtis


                    When I lived in Florida I lived in a 55+ manufactured housing community named Ranchero Village in the city of Largo, FL in Pinellas County across the bay from Tampa. It was in the Clearwater/St. Pete area.

                    1. Debbie


                      Nice area but crowded. I lived in Largo in 2001, knew a lady named Marie (can’t remember her last name)who lived in that park.

          4. Sheila

            Negative this case TRACI

            You are a piece of work Traci

    29. Traci Banville

      By the way......

      Is Erik alright ?

    30. Greg Wright

      My thoughts on the idea of "joining the Amish"

      The Amish,like the Orthodox Jews and other “old” type living people really are a testament of their faith and nothing more. There are many “back to the land” type primitives living and working around North America but we see the Amish and old order Mennonites as perhaps the way out of the life that we are immersed in. Greed,hatered,commercial driven living have made us (people on this website) want to move to where we feel our beliefs will be met.
      I must say that I agree with alot of remarks on this webpage but once we are there I am sure it is a hard go. I think if we all make or take a stand,like Jacob Amman,we would perhaps not have to go so far as to join. In the end they are just like us with suspicions and opinions about their kids and wives and husbands and politics. They have been born into this. I have asked them all of these things and that is what they tell me. “Why are we not proud of our faith’s? Why are we not happy with what we have? We have asked for all of it. If your world is hard enough then load a 100lb bag of heavy outside burden on your back and carry that” said one fellow.

      In end the end the love of God,family,fellowship with friends and appreciation of what we have is what makes ones life a blessing. we can change it we just have to look at all the good stuff.

    31. Wayne


      I have attempted to unsubscribe from comments being sent to my email address at least 6 times yet they are still being forwarded to me. I enjoy looking up the website occasionally, but do not enjoy having my inbox filled with new comments posted from your website. Can you please help me unsubscribe successfully? I enjoy the comments, but would prefer to check them on my own.


      1. Thanks for letting me know Wayne. I just checked and you were still subscribed to comments from 4 different posts. If you have subscribed to more than one post, you have to unsubscribe from each one individually–unsubscribing from one won’t unsubscribe you from all of them. I’m not sure if that is what was going on here but perhaps.

        I went ahead and removed your email from those 4 remaining posts. Let me know if there are any other issues and glad to have you as a reader.

        1. One other thing Wayne–I only removed you from comments where you are subscribed using the email you used to make this comment.

          If you have subscribed to other posts using any other email addresses, those may still be active, unless you have unsubscribed from them yourself.

          Again just let me know if there is an issue and will be glad to take care of it.

    32. Greg Wright


      I really enjoy the postings and see what people think about this subject matter. It does get people talking and I think that is what Erik might want out of this. Ideas,thoughts philosophies and of course meaningful and respectful conversation of all those subjects and of course religion.

      Please Don keep posting things and remarks that Mark has to say.Even being able to write to mark will be a blessing for all who participate in that. As I have mentioned before I am lucky at the fact that I have some Amish friends that I can talk to about alot of these subjects and get their take on things. It helps me with my own thought and idea process.

    33. Traci Banville

      You have all made it quite clear that my opinions are not appreciated here and also clear is what you think of my “concerns” regarding the Amish. I do find it interesting that my comments are read with more suspicion and my motives are questioned so much more than the “wannabes.” Erik wonders “what I am after” but I haven’t seen him ask the same of them. Funny.
      And funny how Don says that he will “call” his son. Aren’t phones in Amish communities still just for emergencies ? Oh yes, that question belongs in the “none of my business” file.
      If you are going to comment on a website such as this, you tend to make your business everyone else’s when you open yourself up to scrutiny and criticism.

      I enjoy a good discussion but what I do not appreciate is being “talked down to” at my age. It is also very presumptious of those who assume that I do not have a religious background and that I am devoid of any knowledge or understanding of the Amish or other “plain” orders.

      I was pleased to find this website two years ago but in recent months with the influx of “seekers” as you call them I find myself wanting to come here less and less. It is obvious that they are welcome and I am not. So I will see myself out.

      A Lady always knows when to leave.

      1. Your opinions in some comments have been interesting, but your message to Don came off as presumptuous and rude to someone who has contributed a lot to understanding the Amish on this site. And you haven’t acknowledged how you mischaracterized his intent, which he explained well in his response–instead for some reason you’ve chosen to poke at phone usage.

        Phones are widely used in many Amish communities in multiple formats; plenty use them for a variety of communication beyond emergencies. If for whatever reason you put that valid and frequently-asked question in the “none of my business” file that is your choice.

        I am interested in preserving a climate of open, civil discussion here. If I were to “ask the same” of all the seekers who comment, the majority of whom are indulging in temporary flights of fancy (and don’t criticize free correspondence), I would not get much else done 🙂

      2. Debbie

        Probably Best thing for now

        I just found this site and was growing concerned that you commented negatively on everyone’s questions or suggestions. May I suggest you spend time on focusing your thoughts and comments on positive for awhile. So much negativity is bad for your health and spirit.

      3. Ginny Jenkins

        According to You, I thought you knew everything there was to know about the amish. Yet you never where.

        The old order have no phones in there homes. The ones in Holmes County, Ohio do not as well. But the ones in Belle Center, Ohio and other communities like it, do have phones in the home. We are of the new order amish group. Every church has varying rules and it is not viewed as taboo like the outside always think the amish view things. Nor is it such a big deal that one church is slightly different from another. I never could understand why the outside try to find faults to nitpick on what the amish do and do not allow.

        But then again, I thought you knew that??

        I do not intend to come off rude as another commentor has on here, I just don’t appreciate such rudeness to my brothers in Christ whom I have a special connection to and I will defend them if I feel their good integritty is being threatened. But let all our good integritty speak for itself.

        To be honest I am on this sight in an attempt to find someone who was of the amish faith and left because, when you leave, it is really hard to adjust back into society. I have left in March 2008 and I have had a hard time ever since. IRONICALLY this sight is for ppl wanting in instead of ppl trying adjust after getting out ‘so to speak.’ Funny 🙂
        I joined the wrong blog apparently.

        1. Ginny, Traci stopped commenting here a couple of months ago, after I and some others brought up some similar issues with her comments.

          I appreciate you sharing, and I think you’ll find most of the commenters here are respectful, though I doubt you’ll get a response from Traci at this point.

          1. Ginny Jenkins

            To Erik:
            Its just as well. I don’t care to stir up nasty arguments on here anyway.

        2. Jillian

          so you want to join the amish

          Hi Ginny can I please get your email. I have some personal questions, Thankyou

      4. Sheila

        A lady Knows When to LEAVE

        Traci, you mentioned you don’t appreciate being “talked down to” at your age. So I’m going to assume you are older than you seem to be with your RUDE, INSULTING, JUDGMENTAL and quite frankly the immature manner in which you choose to express yourslf to others. I really don’t care if by me saying this to you causes discomfort or hurts your feelings. I suppose the majority of people on this site are far more nice than myself to say it. I enjoy reading what others have to say about this topic, but right in the middle of a GREAT conversation there’s you with your negativity. You are like a stick in the spokes on a nice bicycle ride in the country.

        1. Sheila, this person stopped posting here earlier this year and won’t be posting anymore. I have left the discussion intact from that time. I hope you will enjoy the other threads on this post, and thanks for reading.

    34. Denise

      You are all so welcoming with a few exceptions

      Thank you Lattice, Don, Merrie, Lance, Erik and so many others who have shared, cared and embraced us, the seekers. I have been on this site for about six months and I am blessed by all your comments except for Traci. Don I am sorry that you felt it necessary to justify to Traci you generous act of sharing with another seeker. I personally thank you for offering the personal touch instead of a book title. You are all comtemplative people. I am not nearly as educated in the Bible but I am working on it and getting to know and feel the word everyday. Thanks for your teaching. Goodbye Traci. Your policing of our comments and our need to share and join is hurtful and not helpful or constructive.

    35. Bob Rosier (Bob the Quaker)

      Very well put Erik, and I think it echoes the way most of us here feel. I am always open-minded and ready for a productive debate, but it should be done in the spirit of Amish America which has always been kind-hearted in nature. Over a disagreement, an Amish man said “I gently disagree”

    36. Greg Wright

      My "two cents worth"

      I enjoy this site. I am glad Erik is such a good man for having this open for everyone to talk and discuss. Everything from bible teachings to whatever we can come up with. I think it’s a great place and look forward to seeing most comments.

      The most important thing that has happened here is our “sharing” of information in a loving or at least peaceful place. A place where we can relax and smile as we read others experiences and feelings. I mean,people are saying they want to leave their world and join another world. That is a big thing to talk about and I am glad there is a place to do that.

      Lets keep talking and sharing and Don your mini bible studies are great !!

    37. Don Curtis


      Traci, I regret that you will be leaving the site. That is not necessary. But you really should not be reprimanding people until you know all of the facts and have a thorough knowledge of the Amish people you are criticizing. When I read the comment from the gentleman from Fiji to Mark, Mark told me to make his address available to the man. Mark has friends all over this country and all over the world. When he has traveled to Europe, etc. he goes to visit some of his friends. He has never been on a tour or whatever. He enjoys meeting folks from other countries and other cultures. Plus, he wants to be a witness for the Lord as he is given the opportunity. I have picked up that you fear the Amish will be damaged by an influx of “seekers.” Well, the Amish have been around since the 1500’s and are growing at an astounding rate. They can handle some seekers without disappearing as a people. As to me calling Mark. In Mark’s commuinity every household may have one phone in the home. The only restriction is that it is not to be used for gossip. Also, the phone must be a plain phone. No bells or whistles. Mark doesn’t have caller ID or a answering machine or anything like that. If I call him and he’s out in the barn he won’t know I’ve called. I just have to call, again. He used to call me everyday when I lived in Florida. Now, I see him everyday. As I said before, Mark has made his address open to everybody on this website. The only thing he has asked is that he cannot strike up a penpal relationship with single women. It would not be considered proper in his community. Enough said.

    38. Lattice

      Traci, I do not desire that you discontinue reading/responding either. Your thoughts and opinions are important. And you also represent a “take” that’s in a lot of ways quite sobering. Seekers should hear that the Amish lifestyle is difficult one in many ways. Like you generally say, it’s not what you saw in a movie or read in a novel. The concern that I have is that a potential poster might not express their thoughts/desires for fear of your Avatar (is that what those are called?) popping up. If you could only season your responses with a little salt, perhaps.

    39. Ava

      Two Things

      Hello 🙂 I hope you don’t mind me asking a couple things here.

      First, I was wondering if anyone has ever heard any Amish person express an opinion as to Plain Quakers ( Plain Friends )? I know many Plain Quakers observe modest dress, yet use modern technology, and I’m very interested in knowing if anyone knows how these Quakers are viewed by any Amish?

      Second, I have a question for Don Curtis. I know that it’s not appropriate for a woman to write an Amish man. Do you know if, perhaps, your son knows of any Amish women who might be interested in corresponding with a Plain Quaker woman? I think it would be interesting to perhaps establish such a friendship!

      Thank you all, very much.


    40. Bob Rosier (Bob the Quaker)

      Hi Ava
      I have Amish friends, and have always been accepted as a Quaker. The Amish I know have shown me that they know a lot about the Quakers and William Penn. One Amish friend has a land deed to their farm that was signed by William Penn himself and has his red seal. I’m sure you know, Penn offered religious freedom in PA for Amish, Mennonites, as well as Quakers.

      I do wear plain when I visit, but I never felt it was necessary.

      It is not well know, but I thought I might mention to the group that the Quakers are the only religious group that has a Nobel Peace Prize.

      1. Don Curtis


        Well, Ava, I’ll mention it to Mark. Maybe he can find an Amish lady who will correspond with you. I can only ask.

        1. Paula

          Writing to an Amish lady

          Many of us “seekers” who were coming into Plain churches got to know each other through Elmo Stoll’s newsletter which is now out of business owing to his much lamented passing. We used to give our mailing address at the end of our posts and so met other people that way.

          Before we moved to PA, I used to subscribe to the Budget. I can remember seeing small personal ads in the back from individuals or families who were looking to make a connection with Amish people for business, or other reasons.

          Many of us subscribe to Family Life, the Amish magazine.

          I used to subscribe to Keepers at Home published by I wrote in and gave my address and many kind ladies answered my sewing question for me.
          Perhaps you could make a penpal contact through writing to the editor or taking a small ad in one of these publications.

          I am enjoying reading the many posts but have little time because of caring for my elderly mother. Thank you to everyone writing!
          Paula in PA

          1. Elmo's magazine

            Paula: Caneyville Christian Community is now publishing a magazine. Aaron Stoll, Elmo’s son, is editor. The second issue just came to me a couple of days ago. Caneyville is a slightly revised version of Elmo’s community. Very conservative (hardly any motors, etc) but also “progressive” in that they use English and believe in mission outreaches. Bryce Geiser even writes poetry free form. 🙂
            If interested write:
            Plain Things (This is the name of the magazine)
            1000 Choncie Lee Road
            Caneyville, KY 42721

      2. Ava


        Thank you Bob! Very interesting! I had been wondering about that, since some values are shared between the cultures/religions. Thank you for your reply!

        And Don, I appreciate your kindness, also. Thank you!

    41. Mark

      Childhood Fantasy?

      I think many people have an idealized/idyllic fantasy of what it would be like to join the Amish. When I was a kid I thought, great I would get to live on a farm, play with animals, and not have to go to school. But as I grew up I realized that I totally disagree with the premise of Protestantism and Anabaptism.. adult baptism, shunning, and yes, the rejection of education! Not to mention sun-up to sun-down heavy manual labor and raising HUGE families with very little money, which would also be a reality of Amish life. I also don’t think a beautiful piece of art or architecture or clothing is inherently ungodly. Would an Amish man have painted the Sistine Chapel? Would Amish have built a Sistine Chapel? I think the answer to both is no, and we all know that.

      Many people leave these communities. My sense is that more women do so than men, due to the heavily patriarchal culture, but I could be wrong. Could someone pitch me statistics on those who leave the Amish? Interestingly, fewer do so now than in the past, but that might be a reflection of the shift to Amish schools vs. public schools. Realistically, how many even have the ability to succeed once they leave? With eighth-grade educations, few avenues are open to them, so of course they must return or stay in their life. I respect the Amish for their distinctive ways, and this commentary by me is NOT in any way intended to disparage the Amish way of life. It’s only to show that I would be completely unsuited to it both ideologically and physically, and I’m aware of this. I have read many books on the Amish (several by John. A Hostetler, Kraybill and others) and I admire how they integrate their faith to daily life, live close to the earth, and live in warm families and close communities. A lot of that has been lost or is being lost in the wider world. I also have an interest in genetics and I want to help the Amish who have genetic problems due to small communities and inbreeding. Have they considered artificial insemination? Have they considered genetic screening? Have they considered adopting the more than 100,000 American children in foster care?

      But ultimately.. someone on this thread said it best. The Amish way of life is not for everyone, not even for all the Amish. I have deep respect for those born to it and those who choose it. But those who are born to it should have the option to leave, and those who choose it should realize that even under the best of circumstances, they are entering a way of life that is totally foreign to most Americans’ intellectual and cultural background.. Those without a true commitment will quickly return to a less regimented existence.

      1. Ginny Jenkins

        What books have you read that suggest that the amish are poor and work hard manual labor and that the Amish women were treated unfairly? When I lived there, I wasn’t treated like I was a dummy? I could make my own decisions? And the community I lived with, some of the families are so well off that the men in the household have sent up a bank were other amishmen can borrow from them at a very low intrest rate instead of going to a regular bank to finance the materials to build their house. Noooooo the are NOT poor! Im the poor one, I never had the business brains that they do to save and look for innovative was to earn.

    42. Don Curtis

      Amish inbreeding

      On another posting I mentioned that Mark’s 82 year old twice widowed bishop had married an 84 year old widow. The relationships are very convoluted:
      – The bishop’s youngest son is married to to the old bishop’s new wife’s grandaughter. The makes the bishop’s son a step-uncle to his wife and step-great uncle to his childrren. The new bride’s daughter is sister-in-law to her son-in-law. Also, the old bishops’s other granddaughter is marred to new wife’s grandson. That makes him step great grandpa and great grandpa to his own great grandchilren. Oh my. This is too complicated and my head is starting to hurt. I’d better leave off.

    43. Sam

      Amish relations

      Don, better not to stir up Mark, might end up as a full blown debate.

    44. nelson

      laptop for sale by the Amish

      last week I got a call from an Amish man who said that they have a laptop for sale.
      it was brand new a year ago but they decided they wanted to sell it now and they want 275 dollars…
      there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and they had paid more than that for it.
      anybody interested email me

    45. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Advice from other groups

      In recent weeks I re-read certain things of interest to me on various sites online dedicated to the Mother Ann(e) Lee Shakers, and something sort of jumped out at me that is a Shaker tenant but I think applicable to those of us who are seekers of the Amish way, I wanted to know if other people thought the same way about the statement.

      Maybe I am paraphrasing, but the Shakers, in some form, said “Put your hands to work and your heart to God”

      Is this a statement the Amish would agree with? Would they suggest it to Englishers who want-to-be Amish, at least as a point to make one stop and think about the life style?

      Just curious and this seemed like the best thread in which to ask.

      1. Naomi WIlson

        Hands to work, hearts to God

        That is a wonderful saying.

        I had a conversation with an Amish bishop about being a seeker just yesterday. I mentioned something about my husband and I being hard workers. He said, “I can tell you work hard, you have peace in your eyes.” Isn’t that an amazing connection? I have always thought that physical toil, whether it be cleaning, tilling, or building, brings us as close as we can be to God, but I had never thought of it in quite that way before.

    46. When I was a young teenager (12, 14 or so), I wanted to be Amish. Born into a Christian family, I was led to modest clothing and headcovering completely separate from any knowledge of the Amish and Mennonites. So when I first discovered their existence (some lady at a supermarket asked if I were Amish and said she thought I was because of my headcovering… So I went home and Googled it), I was amazed, and wanted to join an Amish church. I was pretty disappointed to discover that there are no Amish or Mennonites in Australia.

      Then I found out more about the Amish, mostly by use of the internet, and by the age of 15 came to the firm conclusion that I didn’t want to be Amish. Mostly due to a few doctrinal differences (or rather, the execution of their interpretation of various scriptures)… and the electricity thing, to be honest. Pennsylvania Dutch, however, doesn’t pose a problem for me, as I already speak fluent German. That doesn’t matter, though.

      Now, at 17, my family has recently visited Lancaster County and spent a couple of days with a Mennonite family. I had a lot of preconceptions about the Amish, and was forced to re-evaluate quite a few of them. Now, I have to admit that my beliefs and lifestyle are a lot closer to the Amish and old order Mennonites than I had previously thought, and I have to stay that if I lived in America, I would seriously consider joining a Mennonite church (not Amish, though. The skirts are too short for my standards).

      1. David

        Why ??

        Why don’t you inquire about coming to the states and staying with an Amish family and see if that’s where your being called?

      2. Joshua


        We seem to have followed very similar paths, as far as our interest level in the Amish and their beliefs/culture. What I ultimately decided to do, instead of joining the Amish, was to join a more progressive group, the Beachy Amish. Since they speak mostly English, it makes learning the doctrine, and adapting to the culture much easier. In the meantime, since I tend to be more ultra conservative with things such as technology (no TV, radio, lights in my room etc.) it allows me to experiment with a more conservative lifestyle in a setting that is more progressive (that way if I decide that being too conservative in an area such as technology is too much more me, I have something to fall back on). Whereas if I had joined the Amish, I would have much more restriction, and I would almost get thrown into living, believing, and thinking exactly like they do, in addition to having the language as a barrier. Rachel, I happen to have a missionary friend at a Beachy church in Australia. If you would like, I can get that contact for you, if you think you might be interested.


        1. Kayla

          Got to get this out please and thank you.

          “thanks Lord for being in my heart in Jesus name,amen.”

          Greetings to you all over there in the church. I’m writing in regards of our generation of kids who may be “pyshic”/”mediums(ship)”/”healers”/prophessying. Under 5 years old.

          Mediumship in particular because this envolves seeing the unseen. Including those humans who passed.

          I know of what you talk about baptisting the dead. Please make clear of this BIBLICALLY 1ST please?

          please write back.

          twitter: @JeremiahAmish

          Please pray with me:

          Father in the name of Jesus, alot of us folks who are out of the Mormon Temple are unaware of things in the Bible even. We need a clear understanding of you and understanding what is to read other books other than the Bible because we know it’s not all about you since you are not a God of Vanity. Lord thank you for our decision making in keeping in contact with the dead and the living. Lord thank you for us who choose to be your people stay your people in Jesus name,amen.

          Thank you!

    47. Kee

      If a single woman in her 20s wanted to convert and join a community, how could she support herself? What are typical ways that single women (I know there’s few!) support themselves?

    48. Elizabeth

      So you want to join the Amish

      Wow….Having long had a fascination for the Amish, I decided to do a search on the web. Obviously I came across this site and have just read all the to’s and fro’s of conversation. Whilst I doubt that any Amish would read this, I really do admire them for their beliefs and way of life. As a lover of Jesus (Seventh Day Adventist), I live a fairly frugal life. I do not need fine houses or the best car and if I could walk, I would surely do without the car. I share a house as that is where God has me at this point in time. Grow my vege’s but still have a computer and the internet. I think most of what is on TV to be rubbish and cannot be bothered with it. Through most of the comments that I have read here, it seems that some people are just trying to get out of the rat race or escape their troubles or are looking for a romanticized version. A suggestion here if I may (and I speak from the experience of one whose life was a complete shambles) read Luke 12:22-34. As a number of people have said previously, start your own little community or find a church that has and lives the same principles.

      I am not trying to upset anyone, I just wanted to say my bit. I am not even sure if there are Amish in Australia (hadn’t got that far in my research yet)but there are some wonderful God loving church communities.

      May God bless you all

    49. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Update on a plain dress website

      Although not a woman myself, I once found a good starting point for plain women’s clothing which was and is the very detailed and well thought out “Quaker Jane” website. Although Quaker Jane focused herself on plain dress in the Friends tradition, she has some rather good information, pictures and links to Amish and Mennonite women’s clothing, I would recommend any woman interested in trying plain dress for their sex to visit Quaker Jane.

      Unfortunately however in my recent visit to the site I discovered a note that made visitors aware that Quaker Jane herself was no longer lead (“lead” being a Quaker idea, that is being lead by God to do something) to wear plain clothing. In this note that she wrote on the site she suggested that the site would remain as a resource.

      I thought I’d share this here because since I first viewed her page I’ve felt that it was a good “ministry” on her part and a wonderful thing to share with people seeking a plain lifestyle, or at least to understand plain a little better (since according to many pictures on the website she had frequently dressed in an Amish/Mennonite fashion).

    50. Kimberly

      Interrested in KNOWLEDGE

      I have been following my family tree and wouldn’t ya know that some of my ancestors were Amish. Now, I don’t know how they ended up getting out of the Amish community except that an Amish ancestor married a Quaker. SMH I guess someone thought that was funny but I don’t. I have always been a history buff and always asked the questions that others refused or never thought about. I know that they were a part of the older Amish community but not exactly which one. I have always wanted to know about the Amish because of their lifestyle. I mean they are the only ones today that still live like it’s the 1800’s. I would love an opportunity to live and study the life that my ancestors lived. To experience a very plain God fearing and yet hard working lifestyle would allow me a glimpse at what they saw and did. I would also be happy to know if my cooking and baking skills have come from them. I have always been able to cook and bake without following any recipes and yet always comes out perfect. Maybe it’s just natural. I don’t know but I would like to see where I come from. I know we started out in Germany and made our way to Pennsylvania. How would you even approach a family in the Amish community to allow you to “shadow” them and learn about their life, school, work, and beliefs. If anyone out there knows how to start the process please don’t hesitate to message me. Thank you.

      Kimberly Rihel