Contents of Volume LXXIV
January 2001 Number One

           

The Amish "Mission Movement" and the Reformulation

of Amish Identity in the Twentieth Century

STEVE NOLT[*]

     Abstract: During the middle of the twentieth century a grassroots "mission movement" emerged among Old Order Amish set on promoting revival within the church and active service to others. Engendering a sharply mixed reaction, it led Amish supporters to organize national mission conferences, participate in Mennonite service programs, attend college, distribute literature to thousands of homes, and fund Amish mission workers. By the early 1960s most of those active in the movement had moved into Mennonite circles or toward affiliation with the Beachy Amish, while those who remained Old Order often adopted a more religiously sectarian stance. Recognizing the importance of the mission movement means that scholarly explanation of the Amish needs to consider today's definition of "Old Order" as at least as dependent on the events of the 1950s as the 1850s. It also points to the evolution of the Beachy Amish and the role of Mennonites in Amish self-understanding.

     "It may be that God will call us from our nice quiet Christian community to a life of action," noted an Old Order Amish writer in early 1953.[1]  The hopeful tone of the opinion signaled not fear of such a divine summons, but an eagerness to engage a wider world beyond the bounds of traditional Amish settlements. Such an outward-looking posture among a people popularly known as sectarians was remarkable, yet by the early 1950s these sentiments were shared by a significant number of Amish from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma, who dubbed their informal, grassroots network the "Amish mission movement."

     From the perspective of the early twenty-first century, the activities of the mission movement jar assumed categories and definitions. For about a decade during the middle of the twentieth century, Old Order church members organized national mission conferences, attended and graduated from college, participated in Mennonite voluntary service programs, distributed mission-oriented literature to thousands of Amish homes, and funded full-time Amish mission workers from Mississippi to Ontario. To be sure, by the early 1960s all this would become impossible and even unthinkable in an Old Order context, but during the 1950s it was part of a yeasty mix of ideas and values competing for the Amish soul.

     If this crucial chapter in Amish history is relatively unknown a half century later, its significance at the time was lost to few. In 1954 sociologist John A. Hostetler thought it one of the most important developments in North American Amish history, and Mennonite theology professor J. C. Wenger (1910-1995) warmly endorsed the movement.[2] 

     Mission movement promoters pursued a dual program of witness, both to those outside and inside the Amish fold-"gospel-starved area[s]" of larger society and "work among our own people," as the Amish writer in 1953 put it.[3]  Amish mission activists strove to bring a particular type of spiritual renewal into Old Order homes and churches and then to marshal that energy and conviction and direct it outward in evangelism and service to others. The resulting ferment redirected lives, divided communities, gave rise to new congregations and institutions, and permanently altered relations between North American Mennonite and Amish groups.

     That the ground was somehow shifting under the Amish church was obvious by 1956 to mission movement promoter and Nappanee, Indiana native, Harvey Graber (1930-1978). But, he admitted, what the "lasting influence upon the Amish Church" would be, "and whether it is possible for the very character of the Amish Church to adapt itself to this new . . . quality of Christian life, remains to be seen."[4]  In the end, many Amish mission movement participants-Graber included-ended up in Beachy Amish, (Old) Mennonite or Conservative Conference circles. Yet their exodus should not mask the fact that the movement ultimately led to a reformulation of Amish identity in the second half of the twentieth century that was as significant for Old Order society as for those who took up other paths.

THE MOVEMENT'S ROOTS

     In some ways the mission movement tapped into old sources of Amish faith, but at mid-century certain factors also combined to open radically new patterns and possibilities that challenged the very foundations of Old Order life. The desire to cultivate personal spirituality, increase Bible knowledge and promote "clean" living had been a staple concern in most Amish communities-often pressed especially by certain individuals or families, and to greater degrees of success in some locations than others. What was new in the 1940s and 50s was the way these issues fueled a desire to serve and evangelize others in distant places. The drive to renew Amish churches became not an end in itself but a necessary means towards a larger project, and neighboring Mennonites-wittingly or not-played a key role in this evolution.

     Although the "tradition-minded" Amish who had chosen the "old order" path during the "great schism" of the 1860s resisted many of the religious innovations and individualistic notions of salvation afloat in American Protestant circles, they did continue to read and write a style of religious literature that encouraged personal piety. David Beiler (1786-1871), for example, Lancaster, Pennsylvania Old Order champion bishop, produced a collection of essays that discussed the new birth in personal, emotive terms.[5]  In the early twentieth century the Ohio-born Kansas deacon, and later minister, Daniel E. Mast (1848-1930) penned numerous and widely circulated devotional essays that some Old Order leaders collected in a popular book, later translated as Salvation Full and Free.[6] 

     Many of Mast's articles appeared first in Herold der Wahrheit, a publication launched in 1912 by well known Iowa writer and school teacher Samuel D. Guengerich (1836-1929). The paper encouraged Amish readers to attend to their devotional life, give up practices like smoking and curb youthful antics. Years before, Guengerich also had been instrumental in beginning Sunday school in the Kalona area, one of a number of Amish communities that held Sunday schools for children and adults during summer months on the Sundays between regular preaching services.[7]  These schools, often led by elected Sunday school superintendents known for their personal piety, not only bolstered knowledge of the German language but also encouraged Bible reading and lay discussion of scripture texts. The Hutchinson-Partridge, Kansas Amish settlement, for example, held Sunday school most years from the late 1880s onward,[8]  as did the Elkhart County, Indiana church under preacher David J. Hochstetler (1839-1929), who in 1912 even published an article encouraging Sunday school attendance.[9] 

     If these Sunday schools seemed somewhat akin to those of neighboring Mennonites, it surprised few people. During the first half of the twentieth century the interaction between the two groups was still substantial and significant. The "sorting out" of identity among Amish Mennonites and Old Order Amish, traced by historian Paton Yoder, and the subsequent merger of most Amish Mennonites with the (Old) Mennonites was a long and difficult process in many communities.[10]  Many families maintained close relations across denominational lines, and members continued to sense a commonality that often made for permeable boundaries. While Old Order Amish subscription to Mennonite periodicals and attendance at Sunday evening services of neighboring Mennonite churches were far from universal, they were hardly uncommon. The Amish Herold der Wahrheit, for example, informed "readers who may have a desire to read more true gospel literature in the English language" that they would do well to take the Mennonite Gospel Herald. As early as 1912 Herold der Wahrheit editors knew that the Gospel Herald was "already a weekly visitor with many of our readers," and indeed it was read in the homes of many who later became active in the mission movement.[11] 

     But Mennonite contacts did more than just connect with some Amish people's interest in devotional literature that encouraged nonconformity and holy living. For it was precisely during these late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century years that the (Old) Mennonite "quickening" of interest in outward-looking evangelism and service to others also began to fill the pages of Mennonite papers and the schedules of their evening church services.[12]  Stories of heroic missionaries in distant lands and domestic urban settings began to reshape Mennonites' sectarian sensibilities, as did attendant calls to support such efforts financially and institutionally. None of this was lost on Amish listeners who walked the borders of Mennonitism. Anecdotal evidence provides numerous examples of Old Order Amish families who sent donations to Mennonite mission boards. About 1920 when India missionary George J. Lapp (1879-1951) toured Mennonite churches, raising interest in foreign mission, his stories left a lasting impact on Amish audience members, as well-people such as Elam S. (1902-1994) and Eliza A. Bender Hochstetler (1903-1976) of Elkhart County, Indiana and David J. Stutzman (1880-1966) of Holmes County, Ohio.[13] 

     Inspiring listeners was one thing, but Lapp and others prompted few Mennonites to actually leave their home communities and take up the mission call. In this regard the impact of the Mennonite "quickening" on the Amish was little different than among the Mennonites themselves. They were made aware of a wider world of need, but their connection to that world was indirect and usually mediated by the likes of Lapp. As a result, the implications of Amish interest in or connection to the world of "quickened" Mennonites was not immediately obvious.

     The experience of World War II, however, was critical in transforming dispositions into personal causes. The hundreds of Amish men inducted into Civilian Public Service (CPS) in lieu of the military draft took part in an effort billed as the moral equivalent to war-a grand scheme to make a relevant contribution to national needs. For example, CPSer Harry D. Weirich of Shipshewana, Indiana took part in a community health project in Crestview, Florida, while Kalona, Iowa church member Moses A. Beachy spent time in Puerto Rico. For fellow Iowan Tobe Bontrager (1907-1963) CPS "helped him catch a vision of the need in various parts of the States." In many other cases, such as that of Holmes County native Yost H. Miller, a Mennonite-administered CPS camp turned out to be his first exposure to the world of Sunday school, structured Bible studies and talk of Christian responsibility to others.[14] 

     By itself CPS did not produce the Amish mission movement. In places where pre-war contact with Mennonites was minimal-in the Swiss Amish settlements of eastern Indiana, for example, or in Geauga County, Ohio-very few Amish participants came home with any interests other than returning to a locally oriented, tradition-guided Old Order church.[15]  But CPS was important in bringing ideas and experience together in the lives of a good number of Amish men who had grown up in homes or communities sympathetic to the service assumptions that undergirded the program. Indeed, it was important enough to prompt some Amish CPSers to volunteer for additional terms after their official draft terms were up, or to encourage their younger siblings to volunteer for various post-war service projects.

     Kansas Amishman Mahlon Wagler, who performed reconstruction work in France, later wrote that he had had "a growing conviction that the church needs more of an outreach, and an expression of a service of love and sacrifice, in peace time as well as in war time."[16]  Meanwhile Alvin Beachy of Kalona, Iowa taught Summer Bible school in Youngstown, Ohio through the Mennonite Relief Committee, and Harry Miller of Partridge, Kansas joined a Mennonite building unit and mission team in Glen Flora, Wisconsin.[17]  At least seventeen Amish participated in the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) voluntary service unit that operated during the late 1940s in Gulfport, Mississippi after the local CPS camp there closed. One of the participants was a woman, Elizabeth Nisly of Abbyville, Kansas.[18]  Nor was Nisly alone in her pursuit of service as a single woman. In 1948 Miriam Hochstetler of Elkhart County, Indiana spent three months serving at Brooklane Hospital near Hagerstown, Maryland and later in a Mennonite-related mission in Loman, Minnesota, while Ada Miller of Holmes County worked at MCC headquarters in Akron, Pennsylvania-a job she learned about by reading Gospel Herald.[19] 

     The years after World War II, then, saw a coming together in many communities of old interests in bolstering Amish devotional life with the newer experiences of service and exposure to the wider world. Groups of young people, especially, began to gather for activities rather different from the traditional Old Order youth "singings." In Kalona after the war, for example, a newly formed group of teens and young adults asked Moses A. Beachy to speak to them about his time in Puerto Rico, and then discussed the meaning of Christian service. They also self-consciously distanced themselves from the undisciplined atmosphere that sometimes accompanied Amish teen gatherings-a distancing that further linked certain attitudes towards piety and religious deportment with particular notions of service and evangelism.[20] 

     Similar groups of mission-minded young people who met for Bible study, discussion and fellowship emerged in other communities: in Elkhart County, Indiana in July 1948; in Partridge, Kansas in January 1949; in Holmes County and Plain City, Ohio in late 1951; and in Nappanee, Indiana and Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1952.[21]  Local context and personality colored the story of each group. For example, in Elkhart County, the Clinton Township churches long had been known for their support of Sunday school and for their relative tolerance on issues of technological change. Yet after 1947 when disaffected members in Clinton Township organized a car-driving, meetinghouse Beachy Amish church, questions of innovation in the old church became more delicate.[22]  So when two young Old Order women attended a revival meeting at the nearby Benton Mennonite Church and came home asking permission to begin a weekly Amish young people's Bible study, it put ministers Menno S. Schrock (1900-1988) and Elam Hochstetler in a bit of a bind. The two ultimately approved the request, though Hochstetler insisted that the meetings be conducted in German. The Clinton young people and a number of married couples then organized themselves with a rotation of weekly topics and leaders, as well as a schedule for collecting money that they directed to local charity or overseas mission work. When a traveling mission speaker such as MCC's Peter J. Dyck was in the area, they invited him to address their group.[23] 

     Years later when Harvey Graber surveyed mission movement participants from across the country and asked what their motivation and inspiration had been, he received a cluster of answers: CPS and voluntary service, the teaching legacy of Amish Sunday schools and writers such as Daniel E. Mast, contact with Mennonites, and a general frustration with the rowdy antics of some Amish youth.[24]  Yet while all of these elements no doubt played a role in cultivating local interest in personal spirituality, temperance, Bible study and service to others, they did not immediately spark an active, nationwide network dedicated to promoting such concerns. True, there was some interaction on an individual level. In February 1950, for example, Elam and Eliza Hochstetler returned to Indiana from a visit to Hutchinson, Kansas much impressed with the midweek Bible study meetings among the Amish there.[25]  In time, perhaps, local interests might have evolved on their own into something larger, but events did not wait for such an evolution.

     In 1950 an outside catalyst precipitated a collective Amish expression of mission interest that marked the start of what participants began to see as an identifiable movement linking people across the country. The catalytic figure was Russell Maniaci (1895-1972), and although his direct influence on those involved in the mission movement was uneven, many saw his role as critical in bringing them together.

     An urban Roman Catholic and Sicilian by birth, Maniaci is perhaps the most unusual actor in this mid-century story, but his background and temperament gave him resources to carry out his role. A lone immigrant to Detroit when just shy of his fifteenth birthday, Maniaci worked as a machinist, married and raised three children in the city's Italian ethnic neighborhood. His parents' deaths and his horrific World War I battle experience left him disillusioned with society and the Catholic Church. Maniaci had quit attending Mass and become critical of Depression-era economics when in March 1936 he read a newspaper article claiming that members of a sect known as the Amish had moved away from oil-rich Kansas farms in order to avoid becoming wealthy.[26] 

     Deciding "that they were either crazy or fanatics," Maniaci was nevertheless intrigued by the description of the group and wrote to several Amish communities seeking contacts and information. When Centerville, Michigan bishop Manasses E. Bontrager (1868-1947) closed a letter "your obedient servant in Christ," Maniaci was dumbfounded; no bishop he had ever met in Detroit had expressed an ounce of humility. Finding his way to the Detroit Mennonite mission, Maniaci-and eventually his wife Grace and their two youngest children-were baptized. With the zeal of a convert, Maniaci set about to immerse himself in the Mennonite world, moved his family to Elkhart, Indiana and was instrumental in launching Mennonite mission work in Italy.[27]  Through it all he credited his conversion to the witness of the Amish-and therein lay his biggest disappointment. As Maniaci got to know more about the Amish, he came to realize that they had little collective interest in evangelizing people like him, nor much overt concern for the spiritual state of the larger world, content to leave such judgment in the hands of God. Moreover, Maniaci was disturbed by the wild life of some Amish teens and the apparent blind eye that parents turned toward such behavior.[28] 

     Maniaci's relationship with the Amish was complex. On the one hand he held them up as a model Christian community-the only people radical enough to break through his cynicism and skepticism about organized religion. On the other hand he condemned tradition, ritual, non-English preaching and other aspects of Amish church life, which he compared to the worst aspects of a Catholicism from which the Amish had freed him. From 1951 to 1958 Maniaci distributed, largely at his own expense, a mimeographed Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin. Comprised mostly of his own essays, the Bulletin simultaneously praised and excoriated the Old Orders. That Maniaci mailed the piece unsolicited to hundreds of Amish ministers only added to the decidedly mixed reception that his message received.[29]  For some readers the pointed critique of this Catholic-turned-Anabaptist was just the sort of outside validation they needed to pursue goals such as youth Bible study or witness to society. For others, the blunt, sometimes angry-sounding interloper who was often unfamiliar with the nuances of Amish culture simply represented the worst of a rude, aggressive world bent on assimilating the Amish.

THE EMERGENCE OF A MOVEMENT

     Maniaci had gradually gathered a small following of sympathetic Old Orders, but his role in the coalescing of an Amish mission movement really began in 1950 when he planned a "First Amish Mission Conference" held August 6-8 on the Kalona, Iowa farm of lay member and mission-supporter Jonas Gingerich (1900-1985). The gathering drew 100-175 people each day and the proceedings included the names of many who would be active in these circles for years to come. Kalona's Harvey Bender (1885-1978) served as "chairman," and Amish men who had been in CPS or post-war reconstruction work told their stories during times set aside for "testimonies."[30] 

     The conference was a mix of innovation and tradition. Participants sang old Amish hymns in German, as well as several verses of English gospel songs, and MCC Puerto Rico volunteers Perry L. and Judith Schrock Miller of Partridge, Kansas sang "At the Cross" in Spanish.[31]  Prayers came from the Christenpflicht prayer book, with plenty of the familiar language of sacrificing the self and submitting one's wishes and will. The aim of such submission, however, was to surrender the desires of security and stability in exchange for going into the world as missionaries and service workers. Maniaci presented the opening address with a clear call to the mission cause. He had scheduled three other speakers, including Elkhart County Old Order ministers Daniel S. Bontrager and Elam Hochstetler, who gave similar messages. If these men set the call to mission within the language of Amish life and thought, the third speaker-Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities' general secretary J. D. Graber (1900-1978)-symbolized the emerging movement's ties to the established world of Mennonite missions. Graber preached a "consecration sermon" and invited listeners to come forward and publicly dedicate their lives to full-time mission service. At least thirty-two people, mostly young adults, did so in an act that more conservative Old Orders would have labeled a prideful assertion of the individual.[32] 

     Perhaps the most significant aspect of the conference, though, was not the sermons or testimonies, but rather, as Anna Beiler of Stuarts Draft, Virginia put it, simply "knowing and seeing others present [with] interest in the same vision in mission." The interstate connections and encouragement that participants gained were key to the development of a group consciousness that allowed supporters to begin using the language of "mission movement" to describe what they were about.[33] 

     Maniaci organized a second conference the next year, drawing scores of people from seven states to an Amish farm near Nottawa, Michigan.[34]  The format was informal, with no planned program; Jonas Gingerich was chosen to chair the meetings only minutes before the opening song. The gathering again offered a mix of "devotionals" by ministers and longer addresses on reverence in worship, concern for lost souls and discouraging alcohol and tobacco use. Testimonials, like that of Kalona native Ezra P. Beachy, illustrated the new ventures and insights of those drawn to the gathering. Beachy had entered alternative service without any "real conviction on nonresistance." But the time away from home forced him to reconsider his choices, as did service in Arkansas, where he witnessed the radical conversion of an abusive father whom "the Spirit convicted."[35] 

     The conference ended with the election of an eight-member continuation committee to plan the next meeting. While Maniaci had suggested forming such "a working body," the members were all Amish laymen, headed by Iowan Ananias (A. J.) Beachy (1889-1971). The formation of such a committee added a sense of cohesiveness and direction to the mission movement. While lacking official sanction of any sort, the group symbolized the commitment of participants to continue the annual conferences, and Beachy worked to communicate local efforts through a small newsletter.[36] 

     But the continuation committee also broke new ground by collecting money for the support of the first full-time Amish mission workers-John H. and Elizabeth Nisly Bender-serving in Gulfport, Mississippi. Their home districts in Iowa and Kansas provided most of their funds, but the continuation committee's acceptance of donations from around the country connected the Benders' work to a wider constituency and gave movement supporters a concrete example of active Amish service in the world.[37] 

     The way in which the mission movement created networks among like-minded individuals was clear in the experience of a Holmes County, Ohio Amish Sunday school that met during the summer of 1951 on the "off Sundays" between regular preaching services. Organizers Andrew A. Miller (1918-1992) and David J. Stutzman surprised no one with their interest in promoting such a project. For years Miller had been outspoken in his advocacy for personal Bible study and "clean" living among Amish youth, while the seventy-year-old Stutzman had-since his 1916 "baptism of the Holy Ghost"-devoted time to essays urging fellow Old Order readers to repent and reform.[38]  What the mission movement gave people such as Miller and Stutzman was a system of support that both helped sustain them in the face of local opposition and connected their local initiative to something larger. The Sunday school's weekly offering collections, for example, went to help fund Maniaci's newsletter and support the Benders in Mississippi.[39] 

     The Holmes County Sunday school donation check sent to A. J. Beachy for the Benders was made out to the "Amish Mission Board General Fund"-a title that suggested more of an organizational bureaucracy than actually existed.[40]  Yet the movement was slowly evolving a more formal structure. At the third annual mission conference, held in Elkhart County, August 17-19, 1952,[41]  the ad hoc continuation committee became a five-member Mission Interests Committee (MIC) with delegated officers. Andrew Miller was chairman, Daniel H. Beachy of Goshen served as assistant chair, Kansans David L. Miller and Eli Helmuth (1910-1973) were secretary and treasurer, and David L. Yoder of Kalona rounded out the group.[42]  The MIC would serve as something of a nerve center for the movement, "coordinating the thinking of the more evangelical element within the church and put[ting] this into action."[43] 

MOUNTING TENSIONS, REACTIONS AND RESPONSES

     As the mission movement gained momentum during the mid-1950s, tensions around and within the movement became sharper. The energy, enthusiasm and innovation on the part of advocates were matched by increasing skepticism and resistance on the part of other Old Orders. Current events only added to a context charged with urgency and anxiety. After 1951, in lieu of the military draft, Amish young men were inducted into a Mennonite-created alternative service plan known by its classification number "I-W." Assigned salaried jobs, often in large cities and without close supervision of their off hours, many Amish I-W men soon earned a reputation for mixing too freely with worldly society, causing concern among parents and church leaders. Then in 1953 when rowdy LaGrange County Amish teens were arrested for public intoxication and angry draft board officials threatened to withhold conscientious objector status to Amish young men, public scrutiny of Amish youth activity and the lifestyle of I-W inductees raised the stakes of discussion within the church.[44] 

     For those in the mission movement, the situation pointed to the need for more intentional moral training of young people and the promotion of a religious basis for service to others.[45]  For conservatives, the structure of the I-W program was questionable enough in itself, and hardly to be improved by pushing Amish participants to see some greater spiritual purpose in it. Moreover, the threat the program posed to young men by placing them in often isolated settings in larger society seemed to provide any needed evidence that activist mission work on the part of young people would also lead to acculturation and the loss of Amish identity.[46] 

     Another important component in the mix of events that heightened tensions in the Amish church was the impact of Mennonite tent revivalism. A new phenomenon among Mennonites in late 1940s and 50s, traveling evangelists such as Andrew Jantzi (1912-1989), Howard Hammer (1911-1957) and George R. Brunk II used nightly outdoor tent meetings to offer a message of salvation and Christian service. The revivalists often drew neighboring Amish listeners, as well, for whom the outdoor setting apart from a traditional Sunday service provided a somewhat neutral ground for listening to Mennonite preaching. While some Amish attended quite publicly, others listened surreptitiously from surrounding cornfields or from across the road. The interest in Mennonite church life was not new in many Amish communities, but the emotional preaching and calls for individual conversion and consecration challenged Old Order emphases on humility and submission to the group. In any case, the revivalists appeared just as the tensions around the Amish mission movement heated up, and the revivalists provided another point of contention between mission movement supporters and detractors.[47] 

     Even more controversial was the ministry of David A. Miller (1910-1992), an Old Order minister from Thomas, Oklahoma, who took on the role of a traveling evangelist himself. Acting on what he believed was the commission of an angelic visitor, Miller preached sermons on sin and repentance in a style more akin to pulpit-pounding Protestantism than the sing-song cadence of Amish ministers. Added to his novel delivery was Miller's willingness to preach any time of the day, for days in a row, in a single settlement.[48] 

     Although Miller at first formally separated himself from the new MIC and the lay-led mission movement, many Amish linked him with the movement's goals and language, making one's response to "Oklahoma Dave" a sort of ecclesiastical litmus test. In 1952, for example, after an extended preaching tour in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, bishops there excommunicated Miller in absentia and forbade members to host him again. The next year a twelve-day Holmes County preaching schedule produced sharp controversy. Advocates claimed that Miller had "crucified the self more than the rest of us," and children even began to "play Dave Miller" in imitation of the remarkable minister. But his ministerial status, as well as his horse-and-buggy, Old Order lifestyle left some conservatives initially unsure how to respond to him. After he attended the Amish mission conference in Kansas, however, and called attendees to make public commitments to lives of missionary service, his position became all too clear to most tradition-minded Old Orders.[49]  Thereafter even his autumn 1953 ordination as bishop could not ameliorate suspicion of him in some quarters. The next summer when he tried preaching in northern Indiana he found a very mixed reception. For example, before the start of a regular Sunday morning service at the home of Oklahoma Dave's relatives in LaGrange County's Middle Honeyville district, local bishop Jacob P. Miller (1880-1965) met him "at the barn before drifting toward the house" and flatly "told Dave that they could not use him" that morning. Dave was so shocked that he "fainted on the spot." But after "he gained consciousness" he and his wife "hired an automobile to take them about 12 miles" north to bishop Eli J. Bontrager's East Barrens district near Shipshewana, "where he could preach," and did so with some effect.[50] 

     By 1954 the various reactions to David Miller symbolized the polarization taking place in most Amish communities. While some agreed with Miller that "it takes Holy Ghost-filled preaching to push the dead church members into a corner where they will have to do something," others found such claims to be arrogant and self-serving.[51]  Indeed, opposition to the mission movement had been gaining strength in some areas and had successfully limited its expression.

     Reaction in Nappanee, Indiana, for example, shut down the young people's Bible study less than a year after it began. In June 1952 young people from the Etna Green area south of Nappanee had begun gathering on Wednesday nights to sing and read the Bible at the home of Melvin Schwietert (1925-1989), a local Amish man recovering from a grain elevator accident. No one opposed cheering the shut-in, and the gatherings won the support of the district's bishop Amos J. Graber (1905-1989), who was also an uncle to Schwietert. In time, though, Schwietert recovered but the midweek meetings continued, evolving into discussion of biblical texts and times of prayer, often led by another of the bishop's many nephews, Harvey Graber. As key settlement leaders spoke out against the meetings, however, they disbanded and a number of participants actually moved away rather than risk local discipline.[52] 

     In Kalona, Iowa opposition to the mission movement was also sharp and resulted in proponents leaving the area or joining local Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference congregations. For advocates who were determined to remain Amish-such as A. J. Beachy or Harvey Bender-the situation was more delicate. Both were highly respected, and in the end were never excommunicated-even after Beachy became involved in planning the annual mission conferences and Bender engaged in enthusiastic street preaching and tract distribution in the nearby town of Richmond.[53]  Yet it was clear that opposition to the mission movement remained potent.

     Mission movement activists responded to these new conditions with a mixture of apologetics and prudent politics. Planners of the fourth Amish mission conference, for example, made a concerted effort to conduct the August 12-14, 1953 proceedings at the Harmon Yoder (1899-1980) farm, near Hutchinson, Kansas in Pennsylvania Dutch.[54]  In a more dramatic move, planners of the 1954 conference-to be held in Ohio-actually cancelled the gathering altogether after learning that tensions in Holmes County and Plain City were running so high that convening the conference there might lead to a series of excommunications or a settlement-wide schism.[55]  The next year when the gathering resumed leaders did not call it a "conference"; instead, they described the August 17-19 event as an "Amish Christian Fellowship Meeting" and organized the program held at the Clinton Christian Day School in Elkhart County around the theme of "discipleship."[56] 

     The most painful action to shield the mission movement from its critics was the MIC's public separation from Russell Maniaci. Although grateful for his role in sparking the mission movement's national network, MIC leaders had a growing sense that Maniaci had become more of a liability than an asset. His acerbic editorials and overt ties to Mennonites and the Conservative Conference hurt MIC supporters' ability to claim that the mission movement was an authentically Amish initiative. Maniaci's resistance to being displaced as the movement's mouthpiece and some blunt correspondence from MIC leaders added to the tension between the one-time associates. In spring 1953 Amish mission advocates launched their own paper Witnessing as an alternative to Maniaci's Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin. Maniaci continued to issue his newsletter on an occasional basis for a number of years, but its contents reflected its increasingly marginal and frustrated publisher.[57] 

     Witnessing was edited by Harvey Graber-the mission movement advocate now attending Eastern Mennonite College as an Old Order Amish church member-and assumed a more persuasive tone.[58]  With articles by Amish writers like Ohio minister Roy L. Schlabach (1915-1991), the paper offered a heavy dose of devotional articles and counsel to "clean" living, with some apologetics for mission and service. The paper was sent free to as many Amish homes as the MIC could obtain addresses, but never to places where it would only stir up opposition.[59]  Graber was delighted by the warm reception the paper received among families that had not overtly supported the mission movement in the past. He was especially encouraged when a mailing to 500 additional Old Order homes brought responses from 200 of them, asking to be placed on the permanent subscription list, and Witnessing soon had a regular mailing list of nearly 1000.[60]  In late 1955, using contacts in every settlement that supplied remarkably comprehensive lists of Amish addresses, a special unsolicited mailing of Witnessing went to some 6300 homes across the country with a five-part mission apologetic "A Loving Appeal from God's Word."[61] 

DEBATING THE IMPLICATIONS OF MISSION

     But if the new paper put some needed distance between the mission movement and the unpopular Maniaci, it also pushed mission-minded Amish farther along a path of organization that was in many ways uncharted territory. A formally constituted MIC responsible for a bimonthly (and later monthly) magazine that offered lengthy, reasoned explanations for mission to the larger world was something quite unprecedented in an Amish experience historically marked by nonverbal witness and locally oriented congregationalism.[62] 

     As various Amish MIC projects took shape during the 1950s, movement advocates had to begin sorting the implications of their efforts. The first formal foray into mission work-the Gulfport assignment of John and Elizabeth Bender-had actually proven too problematic for Amish involvement. The work at Gulfport had grown out of the local CPS camp and related voluntary service unit, both of which included Amish participants. After 1951, though, the Benders worked with (Old) Mennonite church planter Edward J. Miller, and the focus shifted from simply meeting the physical needs of area residents to organizing a functioning congregation with its own standards of accountability and discipline-standards that were quite liberal in Amish terms. In such a situation, where was the Benders' primary loyalty: with the Gulfport group or with their Amish home congregations in Iowa? Could they be Amish in a Mennonite church? The Benders resolved the dilemma by moving back to Iowa, and MIC financial support for Gulfport dried up.[63] 

     The MIC tried to skirt the churchly problems raised at Gulfport by beginning their own self-standing Amish mission projects. As with the launching of Witnessing, the control that the MIC received through their own programming solved one set of problems, but eventually raised different issues. In August 1953 Eli Helmuth, Katie Yoder Helmuth (1911-1992) and Fern Yutzy opened Hillcrest Home near Harrison, Arkansas as a convalescent home for the aged. The local county health board had been looking for a private group to run the facility, and the MIC believed the project offered the possibility of serving others without the entanglements of working directly under Mennonites. By all accounts the Amish management was a success, and the seventeen-bed center soon expanded in size, taking in more patients and increasing its Amish volunteer staff of mostly unmarried young adults. Beyond the fine service that the Home provided the local community, Hillcrest-like the Amish mission conferences-also became an arena for building camaraderie and shared experience among mission movement participants, linking families and settlements through friendships and even marriages.[64] 

     Yet assuming responsibility for the administration of an institution such as Hillcrest posed its own set of challenges. Among other things, the rather loosely organized MIC had to be formally incorporated in the state of Arkansas.[65] Then there was the matter of technology and transportation. Director Eli Helmuth needed a car for Hillcrest business, and the MIC decided that for the expediency of mission work he should obtain a license and vehicle while in Arkansas-although everyone agreed that when the Helmuths visited or returned to any Amish community they would arrive by bus and then drive a horse and buggy. When the first two male volunteers-E. Jay Miller and Daniel E. Hochstetler-arrived at Hillcrest in the spring of 1954, the home's 1947 Plymouth coupe was a point of fascination, though it was clear to them that trips to town were not an endorsement of the automobile by the MIC.[66] 

     The fact that the MIC did not establish an Amish church as part of the Harrison work actually helped avoid some potentially knotty questions about the implications of mission work. Local Protestants came to the home to hold Sunday morning worship services, but it was never assumed that the Amish volunteers were accountable to those groups.[67]  Hillcrest was an Amish "middle ground" where staff could make provisional, practical use of things like an automobile while away from home, without implying any challenge to the discipline of their home congregations. Volunteers were temporarily separated from their home communities, and because their home churches represented a modest range of practice, there was no attempt to impose a uniform local discipline.[68]  Of course, most conservative Old Orders did not support projects like Hillcrest Home, but for mission-minded Amish, the Home provided a combination of service, flexibility and accountability to home churches.

     The other major MIC-related project was the Red Lake, Ontario mission school for members of the Ojibway nation. Here mission-minded Amish activists hoped to work alongside the Mennonite-related Northern Light Gospel Mission (NLGM) that had been begun in 1938 by Irwin G. Schantz (1907-1985).[69]  Harvey Graber had worked with Schantz in Loman, Minnesota for nearly two years in the early 1950s, and believed that Schantz's various education and Bible school projects offered the possibility of MIC "working with him with a view to eventually assuming full responsibility for a portion of this field."[70]  Because NLGM was an independent "faith mission," MIC workers would not be unequally yoked with a Mennonite church conference. Yet the Red Lake work would be "mission work in a real sense" since-unlike the home at Hillcrest-the Red Lake school ultimately aimed to convert non-Christian Native people.[71] 

     By the time Graber proposed the idea at the fifth Amish mission conference in 1955, he did not expect the plan to win instant approval, given the "considerable tension within our own circles." Even long-time mission movement supporter bishop Elam Hochstetler-who was also Graber's father-in-law-was "alarmed that the program committee [that year] consisted of radicals."[72]  In the tense days of 1955, mission-minded Amish leaders feared any action that would isolate them further or finally cut ties to other Old Orders. Moreover, the prospect of working at Red Lake posed in bold relief the still unclear relationship between the Amish churches and the activities of the mission movement. That issue and its implications had been lurking around the edges of MIC and mission conference discussions for several years, but with Red Lake it took on new immediacy. If the Red Lake missionaries expected eventually to do church planting work, what would the resulting churches look like? How would discipline be practiced? What would be the relationship of such congregations to existing Amish church districts? What did it mean that lay schoolteachers might establish Amish congregations apart from ministers and bishops?[73] 

     After a long day of discussion-some of it in closed caucus sessions-the MIC decided to appoint a study committee, including the skeptical Hochstetler, to visit Red Lake that fall. In February 1956 at a well attended, special meeting, the MIC did approve financial support for the Red Lake mission and sent Harvey and Miriam Hochstetler Graber and Mose and Ada Miller Beachy as workers.[74] 

     The Red Lake mission was also notable for the way in which it tied mission service and professional, specialized training. Both Graber and Beachy were college graduates. Nor were they unique in pursuing such academic work as Amish church members during the 1950s. Likely more than three dozen Amish men and women, primarily from mission movement-supportive church districts, attended college-most often Eastern Mennonite or Goshen-during these years. The desire to prepare for occupations of service to others was implicit in the choices many made to study education, nursing, pre-medicine or Bible. For some, a stint at Hillcrest Home provided the impetus for further formal education; for others, family encouragement played a role. Most did not assume that going to college was in itself a statement about one's Amish identity or desire to remain in or leave the church. Instead, higher education was a secondary result of involvement in the Amish mission movement and of a logic that connected credentials with certain avenues of service.[75] 

THE MOVEMENT OUT OF OLD ORDER CIRCLES

     From the outside, all of these developments within the MIC constituency may have signaled an inevitable movement out of Old Order circles. But from within, the situation was much more ambiguous. Those most heavily involved continued to think of themselves as Amish in a way that placed them within the larger Old Order church. In late 1954, for example, the MIC unanimously passed a resolution "that a person who does not retain his membership in the O. O. A. M. church is disqualified for committee membership."[76]  Yet by that time at least some individuals in more conservative church districts were certain that MIC participants had, in fact, left the Old Order camp.

     Throughout the movement's development some participants had begun attending Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference churches, or Mennonite congregations.[77]  Very soon after the first mission conference in 1950, for example, conference host Jonas Gingerich began taking his family to Kalona's Fairview Conservative church. In 1954 Holmes County's Andrew Miller, who had been the MIC's first chair, also switched to the Conservative Conference. Such shifts were often-though not always-symbolized by the purchase of a car.[78]  MIC supporters, on the other hand, saw their continued use of horse-and-buggy transportation and German-language worship in members' homes to be important markers of their fidelity to the Amish way.

     The movement out of Old Order circles was more of an evolution than a quick or decisive break. The situation in the three eastern Clinton districts of Elkhart County illustrate the process. The 1948 midweek Bible study meetings had continued and even grown in size, supported by the ministry and a majority of lay members who also endorsed the activities of the wider mission movement. These religious issues were central to the debates in these Clinton churches, though technological change was also intertwined with the arguments, since some members were also simultaneously experimenting with tractor farming and the Clinton leadership moved slowly to discipline them.[79]  By 1952 the minority who opposed the midweek meetings and the ministry's involvement in the national mission conferences protested enough that communion was suspended. When leaders from neighboring LaGrange County came to try to resolve the disagreement, they reduced the problem to a dispute over tractors.[80]  To the mission movement supporters and the eastern Clinton ministry the evaluation was a disappointment. As one reflected years later, "We thought there was so much more to it than tractors. To us it was the spiritual concept of life" that was the point of friction.

     The visiting bishops stipulated a two-year grace period, after which the situation was to be evaluated again. During this time, however, the line between mission interest supporters and dissenters only hardened, and, without notifying the resident ministry, three conservative Old Order leaders from outside the eastern Clinton districts came in and organized traditionalists within those churches into a separate church district.

     Yet even this act cannot stand as a lone point of formal divide between the two groups. For example, preacher Ira S. Miller (1891-1978) of the northwest Clinton church-which remained within the Old Order fold all along-always supported the eastern Clinton midweek Bible study activities and attended the Wednesday night gatherings even after 1954. In addition, as long as the eastern Clinton churches' bishop Samuel D. Hochstetler (1872-1954) was alive, he served as a resident link to the conservative side since all parties agreed that Sam remained formally in fellowship with them. Even Sam's son, minister Elam, who was most closely associated with the mission movement, continued to preach in some Old Order districts in 1955 and 1956.[81] 

     The process, in the end, was a gradual sorting out, with the majority of members and all the ministry in the eastern three districts continuing with the Bible study and mission conference emphases under the leadership of Elam Hochstetler, ordained bishop in 1954. From their perspective, they had not "split" from anyone. The more conservative minority within the three eastern Clinton districts, though, saw the developments around them as clear departure from the Old Order tradition, and were apt to interpret the story as one of schism, with the "Elamites"-as the Bible study group was derisively labeled-exiting the Old Order orb. In any case, the sorting out process was not fast or neat. A woman who had been quite active in the midweek Bible study meetings from their beginning and had even been chosen the group's first song leader, eventually affiliated with a decidedly Old Order district, while mission-minded people from conservative churches in other places moved into the east Clinton area because of its reputation.

     Old Order skeptics had their predictions confirmed in January 1957 when the three east Clinton churches approved automobile ownership. That change represented a growing detachment on the part of the mission-minded Clinton churches from the opinions of their more conservative neighbors and a tacit acknowledgment of the separation that gradually had been taking place. Even, then, however, the process of realignment was not complete. In 1959 when the three east Clinton churches merged and built a single meetinghouse-taking the name Woodlawn Amish Mennonite Church-bishop John D. Troyer (1906-1977) of the southeast district supported the decision, but then "quietly left and moved to the Shipshewana area," where he affiliated with an Old Order district and yet remained "a highly respected brother" among the folks at Woodlawn.[82] 

     In Kansas and Ohio events followed similar courses. Rather than schism there was a gradual realignment of Amish members and leaders into mission movement-affiliated congregations alongside church districts composed of those who upheld a more traditional approach to church life. By 1958 the differences within the three Amish church districts around Partridge and Hutchinson, Kansas became such that bishop John D. Yoder (1886-1968) recommended reorganizing the districts into two congregations-one avowedly Old Order and the other openly supportive of the mission movement and with the freedom to explore things like English language worship and technological change. About two-thirds of the Amish joined the mission-minded group, which began constructing a meetinghouse in 1959 and became known as the Center Amish Mennonite Church. As the group did not immediately have resident bishop oversight, Indiana's Elam Hochstetler and Oklahoma's David A. Miller conducted the initial baptism and communion services.[83] 

     In 1958 in eastern Holmes and western Tuscarawas Counties, Ohio families supportive of the mission movement began meeting separately for worship. Like their compatriots at Woodlawn, the Ohio group built a meetinghouse in late 1959, adopting the name Bethel Amish Mennonite. The next year a similar mission interest congregation took shape near Plain City.[84]  In Ohio, too, the sorting out process did not always follow predictable lines. Minister Roy Schlabach, for example, who had been active in promoting spiritual revival for more than a decade and had written for the MIC's Witnessing, stayed with the Old Order church, apparently fearing that he would lose all influence in conservative circles if he joined the new group.[85]  Similarly, Indiana bishop Amos Graber never left his Old Order post. For people like Schlabach and Graber the mission movement was always as much about mission to the Amish as it was Amish mission to others. If the MIC now saw practical benefits in things like motor vehicles, English worship or the telephone to spread their message to the larger world, Schlabach, Graber and others believed such changes undercut goals they had closer to home.

     For many mission movement advocates and MIC leaders, however, the focus was in fact increasingly on the needs of larger society, and mission to the Amish became less important. "We just got tired," is how one participant explained the dwindling interest in battling opposition within Old Order circles. Witnessing ceased publication in 1961.[86] 

     Already in 1956 Harvey Graber had made the connection between the mission movement "awakening" and "a new attitude toward change." The logic of efficiency and desire to help others combined to make old taboos seem like obvious needs. A minister in the Clinton church, for example, remembers that the commitment to providing food and labor at South Bend, Indiana's Hope Rescue Mission is what prompted members to think about automobile ownership.[87]  No one was prepared to endorse innovation for its own sake; change still had to justify itself as a means to an end. But as the mission movement floated the possibility of new ends, the "willingness to accept change" seemed to open an ever-wider gap between movement advocates and opponents.[88] 

     But if by 1960 the Amish mission movement supporters were no longer Old Order, what was their Amish identification? In Pennsylvania supporters of the movement had in most cases individually joined existing Beachy Amish congregations. That was not an option for their associates in the Midwest, however. Bluntly, mission-minded Amish at mid-century were not impressed with the spirituality in Beachy congregations from Kansas to Ohio. Tobacco use, indifference to evangelism and weak youth activities were among the images that mission movement participants held of traditional Beachy Amish congregations. "They had the same Old Order action going on there," explained one woman. "We thought they were just Old Order people with cars," remarked another man, "and material things were not our real interests."[89] 

     During the early 1960s, though, the circle of MIC congregations and supporters found themselves interacting with mission-minded Beachy leaders in Pennsylvania such as Eli Tice (1904-1986), and with Amish Mennonite Aid (AMA), the mutual aid and relief organization begun in 1955 by Pennsylvania and Virginia Beachy churches.[90]  Another tie was Oklahoma bishop David A. Miller, whose church had affiliated with the Beachy circle of congregations after 1956. The desire for more accountability and a wider network of leadership resources pushed the likes of Woodlawn's Elam Hochstetler and Center's Amos Nisly to seek affiliation with the Beachy Amish fellowship. Yet even after formal ties were forged, some local suspicions remained. What would be the result of "the merger of the mission movement with the Beachy Amish?" one MIC supporter wondered in 1964. "Will the vigor of the [mission] movement be lost as the movement merges with a group less spiritually dynamic?"[91] 

     By the 1970s, with a new generation of leadership in place, relations between the two sides warmed and the Amish congregations birthed by the mission movement began to think of themselves as Beachy Amish. Meanwhile, the MIC continued as a distinct organization and supporting a growing number of mission projects, but now as a Beachy Amish agency alongside and often cooperating with AMA.[92] 

THE REFORMULATION OF AMISH IDENTITY

     By the mid-1960s the public face of the mid-century Old Order mission movement was hard to locate. Some participants-such as Harvey and Miriam Graber, Mose and Ada Beachy, and Homer and Betty Graber Nissley-had joined Mennonite churches. Many others had followed a path that eventually took them into the Beachy Amish fellowship. Even the organizational heir of the movement-the MIC-had formally become a Beachy enterprise. Institutionally, the Old Order Amish mission movement as an independent, identifiable entity had disappeared about fifteen years after it appeared on the scene.

     Yet the profound legacy of the mission movement is best measured in other ways. Mission movement advocate Harvey Graber once claimed that-given its broad geographic influence-"this awakening" was "probably one of the most powerful forces which has struck the Amish church since its beginning. The only possible exception might be that represented by the split which developed in the mid-nineteenth century."[93]  If Graber's deep involvement in this chapter of Amish life led him to exaggerate somewhat, his characterization made an important point. The events surrounding the mid-twentieth century Amish mission movement were in many ways the final chapter of the "great schism" that historian Paton Yoder has detailed. Although the separation of Old Order Amish and Amish Mennonites began in the 1850s and symbolically peaked at the 1865 continent-wide ministers meeting, the process was far from complete by the beginning of the twentieth century. In places like Johnson County, Iowa families had been so keen to stay on good terms with all parties claiming the Amish name that boundaries remained porous for decades.[94]  The story of the mission movement underlines the important connection between Old Order Amish and Mennonites that continued through the 1950s, and illustrates a last round in the "sorting out" process that had begun a century before.

     It became a last round because the relationship between Amish and Mennonites would be very different after the mid-1960s. Symbolically, the "Old Order Amish Mennonites"-as they had been known by both Mennonite and Amish writers until then-became simply the "Old Order Amish." For their part, (Old) Mennonite publications which had long included the Amish as another branch of their church suddenly dropped such listings. Old Order Amish representation on the MCC executive committee ceased after 1963, as well.[95] 

     In part, this distancing obviously stemmed from the Mennonites' rapid post-war acculturation and changing sense of identity.[96]  But equally important is the way in which the mission movement changed the Old Order Amish and led to a reformulation of Amish identity. The wake of the mid-century ferment laid to rest any further possibilities of joining in active mission work, attending college or experimenting with lay-led or youth-dominated Bible study groups. In the decades since 1960 the Old Order Amish have in many ways become more sectarian than they were before that time. In a paradoxical way this religious development has taken place simultaneously with a greater Old Order openness to negotiating technological change.[97]  Technological and religious conservatism were de-coupled, with religious life becoming more fixed even as mechanical innovation became more possible. As one woman who participated in the mission movement remarked recently, the young Amish women she knows today operate household appliances and dress in ways that would never have been permitted when she was their age. Yet she also grew up attending evening church services of other denominations and participated in voluntary service assignments that today's young women probably cannot fathom doing as Amish people.

     Recovering the impact of the mission movement means that scholarly explanation of the Amish needs to consider the definition of today's "Old Order" as at least as dependent on the events of the 1950s as the 1850s, and not read all of today's sectarian assumptions into the past. For if Amish mission movement proponents lost a piece of their Amish heritage after the 1950s, so too, arguably, did those who remained in Old Order circles. Even recent well articulated descriptions of the Old Order worldview reflect only the current status of an identity that has evolved and transformed during the past half century as much as it has simply maintained itself.[98] 

     Indeed, the reformulation of Old Order Amish identity was not without its own subplots. Already in the 1950s a few Amish leaders with mission movement-like concerns for things such as disciplined youth activities or opposition to tobacco, responded in a very different way from that of the mission movement supporters. Moving in small groups to new locations such as Kenton (1953) and Ashland (1954), Ohio and Paoli, Indiana (1957), these highly sectarian Amish joined their rigorous moral discipline with a principled commitment to staving off any technological and cultural change, and formed a loose network of ultra-conservative settlements.[99] 

     A decade later, in the mid-1960s the increasing rigidity around religious matters in Old Order circles sparked the formation of the so-called "New Order" Amish in Lancaster County and Holmes County. In both places, a significant number of church members who had supported a more evangelical expression of faith had remained within the old church. But as a less flexible environment settled in the post-1960 years, people like Ohio's Roy Schlabach and Ervin Gingerich found themselves increasingly unwelcome within the new strictures. Like the mission movement advocates of the previous decade, the New Order members promoted youth Bible study meetings and "clean living." However, they did not encourage participation in distant mission work and maintained an Amish horse culture. Some New Order Amish see themselves as connected to the mission movement, and in Lancaster about a third of them recapitulated the mid-century story by quickly evolving into Beachy Amish-related or -affiliated churches.[100] 

     The Beachy Amish, too, have reformulated their identity in the years since 1960. The joining of the mission movement-rooted congregations with the historic Beachy churches has remade the Beachy Amish into a group now oriented toward mission work and with a much more outward-looking stance. Symbolically, the Beachy Amish have, in these decades, become solely associated with the title "Amish Mennonite."

     The events of the mid-twentieth century have left a lasting mark on those who call themselves Amish-Beachy and Old Order-and remind all of us of the dynamic, multi-dimensional process of historical change.[101] 


[*]  Steve Nolt is Assistant Professor of History at Goshen College. Return to Text

[1] . R.S., "Things That Hinder Mission Work," Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, Feb. 1953, [3]. "R.S." was likely minister Roy L. Schlabach of Holmes County, Ohio. Return to Text

[2] . John A. Hostetler, "God Visits the Amish," Christian Living, March 1954, 6-7, 40-41; John C. Wenger, The Mennonites in Indiana and Michigan (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1961), 419-20, where Elam Hochstetler had "more vision than characterized many of his Amish fellow ministers." See also pp. 46-47 of John Hostetler's entry "Old Order Amish" in ME 4:43-47. Return to Text

[3] . R.S., "Things That Hinder Mission Work." Return to Text

[4] . Harvey Graber, "Spiritual Awakening in the Old Order Amish Church," unpublished paper, 1956, Mennonite Historical Library (MHL), Goshen, IN, p. 1. Return to Text

[5] . David Beiler, Das Wahre Christentum. Eine Christliche Betrachtung nach der Lehren der Heiligen Schrift (Lancaster, PA: Johann B„r's S”hnen, 1888), 215-38 (esp. pp. 219-20 on personal salvation known by being "enlightened by God from above and infilled by the Holy Spirit"). Return to Text

[6] . Daniel E. Mast, Anweisungen zur Seligkeit (Baltic, OH: J. A. Raber, 1938?), translated as Salvation Full and Free (Hutchinson, KS: D & I Gospel Bookstore, 1973); the book carried a preface and endorsement by Shipshewana, Indiana bishop Eli J. Bontrager (1868-1958). See also Gerald J. Biesecker-Mast, "Anxiety and Assurance in the Amish Atonement Rhetorics of Daniel E. Mast and David J. Stutzman," MQR 73 (July 1999), 525-38. Among the other writings that might be placed in this vein are Holmes County, Ohio's Jacob A. Miller, Vermahnungs-Schreiben von Jacob A. Miller an seine Kinder (Wellman, IA: S. D. Gungerich, 1911). Return to Text

[7] . Joseph Stoll, "Who Shall Educate Our Children?" in Compulsory Education and the Amish: The Right Not to be Modern, ed. Albert N. Keim (Boston: Beacon Press, 1975), 23-25; Samuel D. Guengerich, Deutsche Gemeinde Schulen: Ihren Zweck, Nutzen und Nothwendigkeit zum Glanbehs-Uuterricht [sic] (Amish, IA: S. D. Guengerich, 1897). Guengerich promoted Sunday school, relief work in Armenia and mission activity of various kinds. While his congregation made the difficult decision to affiliate with the Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference in 1912, he continued to have wide influence in Old Order circles-see David Luthy, "Samuel D. Guengerich (1836-1929): Teacher and Publisher," Family Life, Jan. 1993, 22-25. On the moral status of Sunday school superintendents, see A. J. Beachy to Andrew A. Miller, Aug. 11, 1952, Hist. Mss. 1-906, Andrew A. Miller Collection (AAMC), Archives of the Mennonite Church (AMC), Goshen, IN. Return to Text

[8] . Valentine J. Headings, Jr., A History of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Sunday School of the East Center Congregation near Hutchinson, Kansas (n.p., 1947?). Return to Text

[9] . David J. Hochstetler, "Der rechte Gebrauch des Sabbaths," Herold der Wahrheit, June 15, 1912, 149. Hochstetler's obituary in Gospel Herald, March 7, 1929, 1023, reported that he was "one of the founders of the Sunday school in the Amish Church, of which he was a member." In 1897 Hochstetler helped establish a new Amish settlement committed to Sunday school and located in remote Brown County, Indiana. The small church lasted until 1911, when the last family returned to northern Indiana. Return to Text

[10] . Paton Yoder, Tradition and Transition: Amish Mennonites and Old Order Amish, 1800-1900 (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991). Return to Text

[11] . Herold der Wahrheit, July 1, 1912, 173. Interviews with Miriam Hochstetler Graber, Sept. 7, 1999, Goshen, IN; Moses A. Beachy, Sept. 8 and 17, 1999, Goshen, IN; Homer and Betty Graber Nissley, Sept. 9, 1999, South Bend, IN; telephone interviews with David L. Miller, June 27, 2000, Partridge, KS; Firman Gingerich, June 29, 2000, Goshen, IN. Return to Text

[12] . Theron F. Schlabach, Gospel Versus Gospel: Mission and the Mennonite Church, 1863-1944 (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1980), 19-108. Return to Text

[13] . Interview with Daniel H. Beachy, Oct. 6 and 13, 1999, Goshen, IN; Biesecker-Mast, "Anxiety and Assurance," 533-34. Return to Text

[14] . David Wagler and Roman Raber, The Story of the Amish in Civilian Public Service, with Directory (Millersburg, OH: John D. Hershberger, 1986), esp. 65-67; interview with Moses A. Beachy, Sept. 8 and 17, 1999; "Notes on the First Amish Mission Conference," taken by Anna Beiler, Stuarts Draft, VA, Hist Mss. 1-361, Harvey Graber Collection (HGC), AMC; interview with Yost H. Miller, June 6, 2000, Millersburg, OH. Return to Text

[15] . The mission movement had no strong connections in the so-called "Swiss" Amish settlements. The Amish in Geauga County, Ohio were also widely considered to be aloof from the mission movement, as were for the most part the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Amish. In the last case CPS may have played a role, albeit a negative one. Relatively few Lancaster Amish participated in CPS, instead obtaining farm furloughs from local officials who related to conscientious objectors in a more paternal way than their Midwestern counterparts. Thus the impact of CPS in any way was much less pronounced among the Lancaster Amish. On the situation in Geauga County, see, e.g., Eli Helmuth to Andrew A. Miller, Apr. 13, 1953, AAMC, and Noah A. Keim to Andrew A. Miller, Aug. 1, 1954, AAMC. Return to Text

[16] . Ervin Hershberger and Daniel E. Hochstetler, eds., History and Memories of Hillcrest Home, 1953-1978 ([Harrison, AR: Daniel Nisley], 1978?), 15. See also Wagler's statement written in 1945 that appears in Wagler and Raber, Story of the Amish in Civilian Public Service, 72-74. Return to Text

[17] . "Notes on the First Amish Mission Conference," HGC; Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, Dec. 1951, [3]-[6]; and Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 7-8. Return to Text

[18] . David A. Haury, The Quiet Demonstration: The Mennonite Mission in Gulfport, Mississippi (Newton, KS: Faith and Life Press, 1979), 109-22. Return to Text

[19] . Interviews with Miriam Graber, Sept. 7, 1999; and Moses A. Beachy, Sept. 8 and 17, 1999. Return to Text

[20] . Interview with Moses A. Beachy, Sept. 8 and 17, 1999; Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 17-18. Return to Text

[21] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 16-17. Return to Text

[22] . Elmer S. Yoder, The Beachy Amish Mennonite Fellowship Churches (Hartville, OH: Diakonia Ministries, 1987), 130-31, 317-18; interviews with Daniel H. Beachy, Oct. 6 and 13, 1999; and Daniel S. and Lizzie Bontrager, Jan. 25, 2000, Goshen, IN. Return to Text

[23] . Interview with Daniel H. Beachy, Oct. 6 and 13, 1999; Dan Beachy, "A Half Century of Midweek Meetings," Woodlawn Chronicle, July-Aug. 1998, 6-8; Dan Beachy, "Wednesday Evening Bible Study Beginnings," Woodlawn Chronicle, Aug.-Sept. 1993, 3; Daniel S. Bontrager, Reminiscence of the Bontrager Family (n.p., 1996), 33-34; Harry D. Weirich notes from Dec. 29, 1948 meeting, in the files of Daniel E. Hochstetler, Goshen. A few of the initial participants chafed under the German-language restriction and soon joined a Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference congregation. Connections to Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference congregations varied from place to place, as not all Conservative churches had an interest in missions. Some Elkhart County Amish children, though, attended Conservative summer Bible school.-See Daniel H. Beachy to Andrew A. Miller, May 27, 1954, AAMC. Return to Text

[24] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 21-26 and appendices. Graber surveyed 21 people (from Kalona, IA, Plain City and Holmes Co., OH, Elkhart Co., IN, Hutchinson and Partridge, KS, Thomas, OK, Lancaster, PA, and Arthur, IL). In addition, the Plain City, Ohio Amish credited the impact of their Amish parochial school, begun in 1947, which employed Mennonite teachers and included Bible instruction in the classroom. Another respondent cited the influence of trips to Florida where "out from under the control of the home church such people took the risk of attending services of other churches and liked what they found" (21). Graber's own opinion-presumably from his Nappanee setting-was that youthful rowdiness and immorality were the most important factors in winning support for the mission movement among rank-and-file members "who were repulsed by these conditions" (24). One also cannot help but note the role of dramatic personal experience in motivating particular individuals to radically change their religious outlook-brushes with serious illness, sudden deaths of young relatives and so on, crop up in contemporary correspondence and later memory. Return to Text

[25] . Interview with Daniel E. Hochstetler, Sept. 28, 1999, Goshen, IN. Return to Text

[26] . The story was an AP wire service feature, and can be found most easily-in a shorter version without photos-as "Shun Oil-Well Riches: Amish Farmers Move from Area Where New Pool is Found," New York Times, March 7, 1936, 5:2. The story was actually inaccurate; the Amish left Yoder, Kansas for Fairbanks, Iowa for other reasons. See Wichita Eagle, Mar. 22, 1936. Return to Text

[27] . Maniaci's autobiographical essay is found in Ezra W. Shenk, In the Harvest Field (Wellman, IA: Ezra W. Shenk, 1952), 24-38. Maniaci's original first name was Rosario. He received the nicknamed "Russell" soon after immigrating to Detroit and changed his name legally upon discharge from the U.S. Army after World War 1. See also Clara S. Raber, Special Handling: An Autobiography (Newton, KS: Graphic Images, 1994), 139-41; Russell Maniaci, comp., "A Genealogy of the Maniaci Family compiled by Rosario (Russell) Maniaci," manuscript copy in the files of Steve Nolt; Harold Weaver, "My Recollections of the Maniaci Family" and Minnie Graber, "A Man Used of God: Russell Maniaci," Messenger [Prairie Street Mennonite Church], June 1988, 1-3; Daniel S. Bontrager, "Russel [sic] Maniaci and the Amish Church," Woodlawn Chronicle, May-June 1993, 2-3; and Steve Nolt notes from telephone interview with Angeline S. Maniaci Jones, Sept. 17, 1999. Maniaci himself and some of his closest Amish friends-such as Daniel S. Bontrager-pronounced his name 'Mahn-ee-ah-chee.' Many other Amish people less familiar with Italian phonetics knew him as 'Ma-na-see.' Return to Text

[28] . E.g., R. Maniaci, "Sectarianism," Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, May 1953, [5]-[10]; "A Good Church Member," Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, Oct. 1953, [15]-[16]; and "Sowing Wild Oats," Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, Feb. 1954, [14]-[16]. Return to Text

[29] . The Bulletin did receive many positive letters from readers, which also give a good sense of the range of mission movement activities around the country, from Bible schools and Sunday schools to Voluntary Service assignments and simple visiting between communities. The paper also received its share of angry responses, leading Maniaci to begin printing "Please Do Not Tear This Until You Have Read It. Would you condemn a person before you knew the facts?" above the address line. Return to Text

[30] . "Notes on the First Amish Mission Conference," HGC; telephone interview with Firman Gingerich, June 29, 2000. Return to Text

[31] . Attendees sang not from the Ausbund but from the hymnal used by the Old Order Amish in the Kalona community: Eine Unparteiische Lieder-Sammlung (Lancaster, PA: John Baer's Sons, 1860). Return to Text

[32] . Notes of the meeting record twenty-nine specific names. All those with place identification were from Iowa and Kansas, reflecting the demographics of attendance. Attendance at the conferences was weighted toward participants from the hosting region, though it also always included people from across the country and represented most settlements each time. Return to Text

[33] . "Notes on the First Amish Mission Conference," HGC. The files of correspondence in the AAMC provide a window into the loyalty and camaraderie that developed among mission movement supporters through the years. They noted who was in fellowship with whom, sent letters of encouragement when they could not attend particular mission meetings, exchanged information about supportive bishops and ministers in every state, suggested the names of like-minded individuals who should be included in mailings, and so on. Return to Text

[34] . The farm was that of Chris Stauffer (1890-1952), who agreed to host the gathering but was not especially supportive of the mission movement. Notes on the second conference appear on pp. [3]-[6] of the first issue of Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin (Dec. 1951). Reporting on the conference seems to have been the impetus for Maniaci's launching the newsletter. Return to Text

[35] . Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, Dec. 1951, [5]. Return to Text

[36] . Ibid, [6]; A. J. Beachy's "Amish Missions Bulletin," dated Dec. 31, 1951; Feb. 14, 1952; and May 5, 1952, AAMC. (Beachy's "Amish Missions Bulletin" circulars should not be confused with Maniaci's Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin.) Return to Text

[37] . Ibid., Dec. 31, 1951; Yoder, Beachy Amish, 250. Return to Text

[38] . Biesecker-Mast, "Anxiety and Assurance," 525, 533-37. Return to Text

[39] . Beechvale Brethren Bible Class record book, AAMC. Return to Text

[40] . Ibid. Return to Text

[41] . Notes on the third conference are in the September 1952 issue of Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin. See also Daniel H. Beachy to "Dear Brethren," July 11, 1952, AAMC. Return to Text

[42] . A list of MIC members 1952-1978 is contained in Hershberger and Hochstetler, eds., History and Memories, 121-23. The MIC name was suggested by David L. Miller and modified by Andrew A. Miller-Andrew A. Miller to MIC members, April 6, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[43] . Mahlon Wagler to Andrew A. Miller, Aug. 1, 1954, AAMC. Return to Text

[44] . "Two Arrested for Providing Beer to Amish Youths," Goshen News, Oct. 26, 1953, 1; "Amish Uprising Halts LaGrange Draft," South Bend Tribune, Oct. 28, 1953, 1. Return to Text

[45] . Maniaci was concerned about the welfare of Amish I-W men, and listed many of their names in Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, urging readers to write the men encouraging letters. He also sent the Bulletin to I-W units. Testimonies from I-W men were a staple part of the annual mission conferences. Return to Text

[46] . David Wagler, "Is it Balaam's Counsel?" Herold der Wahrheit, Dec. 1, 1952, 726. Men from some particularly conservative Amish families or communities eventually began refusing to participate in the I-W program altogether, opting instead for jail terms-e.g., Budget, July 4, 1957, 1; Feb. 18, 1960, 7. Return to Text

[47] . Interviews with Miriam Graber, Sept. 7, 1999; Homer and Betty Nissley, Sept. 9, 1999; Yost H. Miller, June 6, 2000; and Daniel H. Beachy, Oct. 6, 1999. On the Hammer revival in Iowa, see A. J. Beachy to Andrew A. Miller, July 14, 1952, AAMC. A Mennonite tent revival sparked the formation of an Amish youth Bible study group in Milverton, Ontario in 1952.-Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 23. George Brunk II returned the favor by attending the fourth Amish Mission Conference, in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1953. Return to Text

[48] . Raymond [Wagler] to Andrew A. Miller, Dec. 18, 1952; Melvin E. Miller to Andrew A. Miller, Oct. 18, 1953; Enos Miller to Andrew A. Miller, Dec. 29, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[49] . Yoder, Beachy Amish, 79-80; Hostetler, "God Visits the Amish," 6; The Budget, Aug. 6, 1953, 3; Aug. 13, 1953, 1, 5; Abbie Gertrude Enders Huntington, "Dove at the Window: A Study of an Old Order Amish Community in Ohio" (PhD diss., Yale, 1956), 693-700. MIC member Yost H. Miller hosted one of David Miller's large Holmes County meetings. The Lancaster Amish who continued to support David Miller and attend the mission conferences were denied communion-Stephen E. Stoltzfus to Andrew A. Miller, Nov. 8, 1953, AAMC (note Stoltzfus' strong use of evangelical language and his desire that revival "sweep the nation from coast to coast"). Return to Text

[50] . John B. Mast to Andrew A. Miller, Sept. 13, 1954, AAMC. Return to Text

[51] . David A. Miller, Witnessing, Nov.-Dec. 1953, 3. Return to Text

[52] . Interview with Homer and Betty Nissley, Sept. 9, 1999; Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 16-17. Return to Text

[53] . On the situation in Kalona, see "Amish Missions Bulletin," May 5, 1952, 4; David L. Yoder to Andrew A. Miller, July 21, 1953; David L. Yoder to "AAM and DHB," May 10, 1953; AAMC. Interview with Moses A. Beachy, Sept. 8 and 17, 1999; Telephone interview with David L. Miller, June 27, 2000. Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 17-18, gives his assessment of the situation in Kalona (the "elderly man" was apparently Harvey Bender). Bender's situation was discussed by the MIC, though they hesitated to get involved without having heard the Kalona church leaders' side-MIC Minutes, Feb. 14-15, 1956, HGC. Very late in his life, Bender left the Amish and joined the Pentecostal Church of the Living World. Return to Text

[54] . Notes on the fourth conference appear in Witnessing, Sept.-Oct. 1953, 2-7. See also the planning notes and comments that went into such a gathering in David L. Miller to "Dear Brethren in the Lord," March 3, 1953; David L. Miller to Andrew A. Miller, March 19, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[55] . Daniel H. Beachy to MIC, July 20, 1954; Mahlon Wagler to Andrew A. Miller, Aug. 1, 1954; AAMC. The tension in Holmes County is illustrated in Malva Shetler to Andrew A. Miller, postmarked Feb. 12, 1954, AAMC. The cancellation was disappointing to many "for whom because of stiff opposition in their own communities, the conference held out the only hope of better days."-Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 10. Return to Text

[56] . Notes on the fifth conference appear in Witnessing, Oct. 1955, 5-11; Amish Mission Endeavor Bulletin, July-Oct. 1955, 2-3. Return to Text

[57] . The key meeting was held at the Daniel H. Beachy home near Millersburg, Indiana.-MIC Minutes, Dec. 22-23, 1952, HGC. Also A. J. Beachy to Harvey Graber, Sept. 17, 1952, HGC; David L. Miller to Russell Maniaci, Jan. 5, 1953, AAMC; David L. Miller to Harvey Graber, Feb. 4, 1953., HGC. Maniaci moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1957 and died fifteen years later in Miami. Return to Text

[58] . Graber was editor 1953-1959, succeeded by Yost H. Miller and Homer Nissley, who served as editor and assistant editor 1959-1961. Witnessing became a monthly in 1955 and reverted to a bimonthly in 1958. Originally printed and distributed by Andrew A. Miller in Holmesville, Ohio, production and mailing soon shifted to Mennonite Press, Newton, Kansas. Graber later wrote that he believed Maniaci did not trust him as the editorial voice for the mission movement because Graber was Amish and "would be too subservient to conservative interests in the church."-Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 14. Return to Text

[59] . Daniel H. Beachy to [Andrew A. Miller and Harvey Graber?], March 27, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[60] . Graber placed ads for Witnessing in The Budget and Herold der Wahrheit. Return to Text

[61] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 14-16; Graber hatched the idea in 1953, but the MIC was more cautious, fearing negative reaction. See Dan Beachy to MIC, Dec. 14, 1953, MIC Minutes Dec. 31, 1953, Graber to AAM, May 12, 1953. The series appears as "A Loving Appeal from God's Word," Witnessing Jan. 1956, 1-3; Feb. 1956, 1-4; Mar. 1956, 1-3; Apr. 1956, 1-2; and May 1956, 1-3. When sociologist John A. Hostetler visited Goshen in 1956 he was astounded to see more than 6000 names on the Amish address list. Nothing of that scope had ever been compiled before.-Interview with Homer and Betty Nissley, Sept. 9, 1999. Return to Text

[62] . For a Pennsylvania Old Order Amish bishop's belief in "mission work rather from an exemplary point, that is, in living a Christian life, rather than in spreading it by word," see quotes in Evan J. Miller to Andrew A. Miller, Dec. 13, 1951, AAMC. Return to Text

[63] . Haury, Quiet Demonstration, 1-56; 109-22 contain lists of workers, including eight CPS and 17 VS Amish participants. See also Yoder, Beachy Amish, 250. On the problems for the Benders at Gulfport, see Raymond Wagler to Andrew A. Miller, May 22, 1952, AAMC. Return to Text

[64] . The facility had been the Boone County, Arkansas "poor home" until it closed in 1951 for municipal budget reasons. Locals were impressed with how the Resthaven Nursing Home near Gassville, Arkansas was operated by South Central Conference Mennonites and asked if they would re-open the Boone home. An Amish couple working at Resthaven-Menno S. and Edna Yoder Nisly-passed the request on to the MIC, which accepted the offer from Boone County officials. See Hershberger and Hochstetler, eds., History and Memories, 6-21; Yoder, Beachy Amish, 250-51; and Paul Erb, South Central Frontiers: A History of the South Central Mennonite Conference (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1974), 423. The Helmuths were administrators at Hillcrest through 1966. Return to Text

[65] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 11. The MIC also struggled with personnel issues for the first time, such as insurance, vacation policies, etc.-Daniel H. Beachy to MIC, Jan. 22, 1954, AAMC. Return to Text

[66] . Hershberger and Hochstetler, eds., History and Memories, 24; interview with Daniel E. Hochstetler, Sept. 28, 1999. Return to Text

[67] . Hershberger and Hochstetler, eds., History and Memories, 26. At first the staff attended services at nearby Protestant churches.-See, e.g., "Hillcrest Home News Letter," Nov. 8, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[68] . The situation was not entirely unlike that of Sarasota, Florida where even today Old Order Amish from various settlements live together in ways that transcend any one local discipline, and in which the temporary nature of one's association with the community allows one to live provisionally outside the boundaries of one's home church discipline without challenging that discipline or implying that one will not submit to it after eventually returning home. Return to Text

[69] . Joni Beachy, "History of the Northern Light Gospel Mission," unpublished student paper, 1957, MHL; also Stephen E. Scott, An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1996), 192-93. Northern Light Gospel Mission is now known as Impact North Ministries. Return to Text

[70] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 12. Yoder, Beachy Amish, 251-52. Return to Text

[71] . Noah Hochstetler, "A History of the Amish Mission Board: The Mission Interest [sic] Committee," unpublished student paper, 6, AMC. Return to Text

[72] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 12. Return to Text

[73] . Issues surrounding the practice of church discipline were debated in mission movement circles.-See, e.g., Ray Wagler to Andrew A. Miller, May 22, 1952; Joseph G. Gingerich to Andrew A. Miller, Apr. 19, 1949, AAMC. See also "Congregational Church Discipline," Witnessing, May-June 1955, 3-6. A number of people active in the mission movement were fascinated by the "Letters of the Amish Division," perhaps because of their own contemporary discussions of discipline. Return to Text

[74] . The team appointed was Hochstetler, William W. Wagler (1914-1983) of Partridge, Kansas and Yost H. Miller of Millersburg, Ohio. In October this group went to Red Lake to investigate (Daniel S. Bontrager replaced Yost Miller). See Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 12-13. Return to Text

[75] . Daniel E. Hochstetler, "The Amish Go to College?" unpublished reflections and partial listing of Amish college students during the 1950s; Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 18-19. The influence of Mennonite college attendance is occasionally apparent in the language of mission movement correspondence, such as Mose Beachy's suggestion to consider "the Anabaptist vision for mission work."-Moses A. Beachy to Andrew A. Miller, Aug. 4, 1952, AAMC. David L. Miller was concerned, however, that mentioning higher education in Witnessing would alienate some readers-David L. Miller to Andrew A. Miller, April 20, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[76] . MIC Minutes, Dec. 21, 1954, HGC. On Amish identity and the MIC, see also David L. Miller to Andrew A. Miller, June 4, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[77] . On the possibility of defection, Harvey Graber feared that the constant tension in many settlements was slowly pushing mission movement advocates out of the Amish church and into Conservative Conference or Mennonite arms. In areas where an exodus to the Mennonites seemed likely, Graber-though fearing schism-postulated that division might be preferable, provided that leaders in the mission movement use "every possible teaching device" to keep "the psychological orientation . . . such that the new group will continue to consider itself Amish, to feel that it is still their duty to minister to them [the Old Order], and that eventually the two will reunite."-Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 25-26. Return to Text

[78] . Andrew Miller came to believe that the automobile was "essential" for effective mission work-Andrew A. Miller to Harvey Graber, May 4, 1954, HGC. Jonas Gingerich did not immediately buy a car, but attended the Conservative Conference church in a horse and buggy for several years. Gingerich was also never placed in the ban by the Old Order church at Kalona, which he took as a mark of their respect that his choice was one of conviction and not rebellion.-Telephone interview with Firman Gingerich, June 29, 2000. Return to Text

[79] . Interview with Daniel H. Beachy, Oct. 6 and 13, 1999. On the place of technological change in controversies in Plain City, Ohio, see Noah A. Keim to Andrew A. Miller, May 18, 1953, AAMC. Return to Text

[80] . Tractors were not an issue in the tensions in Iowa and Kansas, since all the Old Orders there had already accepted tractor farming. Return to Text

[81] . Interview with Daniel H. Beachy, Oct. 6 and 13, 1999; Elam Hochstelter preached in the Northwest Clinton district of Rudy Kauffman in Elkhart County on January 2, 1955, in the East Barrens district of David D. Helmuth in LaGrange County on January 16, 1955, in the "Amos W." district in Daviess County, Indiana, on August 28, 1955, when church was at the Amos Hostetler home in Nappanee on January 23, 1956, and in the Levi Hochstetler district in Holmes County, Ohio on August 12, 1956-Elam Hochstelter notes on the bottom of a letter from J. C. Wenger, May 28, 1960, in the possession of Daniel E. Hochstetler, Goshen, IN. Wenger, Mennonites in Indiana and Michigan, 420 uses the date 1956 as the point at which formal fellowship between the east Clinton districts and other northern Indiana Old Order Amish was severed; this would appear to be a fairly realistic date. For an interpretation that suggests a 1952 schism and technological change as the sole issue, see [Eli E. Gingerich], Indiana Amish Directory: Elkhart, LaGrange, and Noble Counties, 1995 (Middlebury, IN: Jerry E. Miller, 1995), 5-6. Return to Text

[82] . Bontrager, Reminiscence of the Bontrager Family, 35. For a brief summary of Woodlawn history, see Yoder, Beachy Amish, 131-33, 318-19. At first Woodlawn held preaching services and Sunday school (all in German) on alternating Sundays in the traditional Old Order pattern. Return to Text

[83] . Yoder, Beachy Amish, 134-35, 325-27. Telephone interview with David L. Miller, June 27, 2000. Return to Text

[84] . Yoder, Beachy Amish, 135-36, 338-39, 336-37. Interview with Yost H. Miller, June 6, 2000. Return to Text

[85] . Interview with Paul A. Kline and Edward A. Kline, June 7, 2000, Millersburg, Ohio. Schlabach's role in Ohio was widely known as early as 1949.-See L. A. Miller to Andrew A. Miller, June 23, 1949, AAMC. Return to Text

[86] . Interview with Homer and Betty Nissley, Sept. 9, 1999. The MIC inquired about Herold der Wahrheit purchasing Witnessing and merging the two publications, but the arrangements did not work out. Return to Text

[87] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 19-20; interview with Daniel S. and Lizzie Bontrager, Jan. 25, 2000. Hope Rescue Mission had been started by Tobe E. Schmucker (1918-1986), a Nappanee Amishman whose CPS experience had prompted him to join the Mennonites and adopt a life of active service to others. See Tobe E. Schmucker, Beacon of Hope: The Story of an Inner-City Rescue Mission (South Bend, IN: Hope Rescue Mission, 1991). Return to Text

[88] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 19-20. Return to Text

[89] . Candid comments from a variety of interviewees. Interviewees remarked on exceptions to these stereotypes. For example, bishop David A. Bontrager (1915-1989) of the Fair Haven Amish Mennonite (Beachy) church in Elkhart County, Indiana had a deep personal interest in mission work (and even later organized Christian Missions to the Communist World), but he was regarded as exceptional, even in his own congregation. The appraisal of the Beachy Amish in Lancaster and Somerset, Pennsylvania was different. They were considered more "spiritually minded," and thus it was possible for mission-minded Old Order folks to join them without compromising conscience-something which was apparently less likely in the Midwest and may have forced the mission movement supporters in the Midwest to try longer to remain within the Old Order fold. For their part, Midwestern Beachy Amish typically had little time for the mission-interest folks. According to some local memories in northern Indiana, for example, they were more apt to employ the derisive "Elamite" nickname for the pre-Woodlawn Clinton Amish group than were many Old Order church members. Another example is Yoder, Beachy Amish, 133, 212-13. Return to Text

[90] . Significantly, however, AMA was always run by Beachy Amish bishops, whereas the MIC was always a lay board. On AMA history and activity, see Yoder, Beachy Amish, 216-47. Aaron S. Glick, The Fortunate Years: An Amish Life (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1994), 200-203, 210 documents some connections between Pennsylvania Beachy Amish and the Woodlawn congregation; pp. 217-32 recount a trip Glick took with Oklahoma David A. Miller. Glick was a brother-in-law of Tobe Bontrager of the Kalona community who was active in the mission movement. Return to Text

[91] . Hochstetler, "History of the Amish Mission Board," 8. Return to Text

[92] . For the continuing story of the MIC, see Yoder, Beachy Amish, 247-59. Another approach to evangelism among mission movement Amish involved the notion of mission by colonization. Noah Kiem and Nicholas Stoltzfus were popularizers of this idea and helped found several settlements. Some of these colonies, like Aroda, Virginia, became Beachy Amish, while others, like Aylmer, Ontario, remained Old Order. See Nicholas Stoltzfus, The Great Commandment (Medford, WI: Lord's Blessed Tract Service, [194-]); and David Luthy, The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960 (Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1986), 366-69. Return to Text

[93] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 7. Return to Text

[94] . Yoder, Tradition and Transition, 265-66, 275-76. Glick, Fortunate Years illustrates the family connections across Old Order Amish, Amish Mennonite and (later) Beachy Amish church lines that existed in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as well as interaction between these groups and neighboring Mennonites. Return to Text

[95] . E.g., through its 1967 edition Mennonite Yearbook always listed all the "Old Order Amish Mennonite" districts and ordained leaders. See also Henry A. Mast to Andrew A. Miller, Oct. 8, 1952, AAMC. Among the many examples of Amish self-designation is the World Wars I and II era conscientious objection statement, "Articles of Faith of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church," copy in files of Steve Nolt; and Headings, History of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Sunday School. See also "Amish Mennonites" entry in ME 1:93-97. The Old Order Amish were represented on the MCC board after its reorganization in 1942: Eli J. Bontrager, Shipshewana, Indiana, 1942-1953; Abe Yoder (1895-1963), Hartville, Ohio, 1953-1960; "member undesignated," 1960-1962; Ammon Troyer (1899-1962), Sugarcreek, Ohio, 1962. Troyer died suddenly at the end of 1962 and was never replaced. In 1954 the Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference changed its name to the Conservative Mennonite Conference. Return to Text

[96] . D. J. Steinmann to Andrew A. Miller, April 27, 1953, AAMC for an example of a long-time Amish subscriber to Gospel Herald who was becoming uninterested in that magazine as its tone and content changed, reflecting Mennonite post-war acculturation. Return to Text

[97] . The rise of Amish parochial schools in some of these communities is a part of this sectarianization story. Return to Text

[98] . E.g., Donald B. Kraybill, The Riddle of Amish Culture (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Univeristy Press, 1989), 24-45; John S. Oyer, "Is There an Amish Theology?" in Les Amish: Origine et et Particularismes, 1693-1993, 278-99, ed. by Lydie Hege and Christoph Wiebe (Ingersheim: Association Fran‡aise d'Histoire Anabaptiste-Mennonite, 1996). Return to Text

[99] . Graber, "Spiritual Awakening," 24, noted this development, commenting positively on their moral commitments but disagreeing with their strategy of withdrawal. Between 1953 and 1961 five ministers and a group of lay members from LaGrange County, Indiana relocated to Kenton, Ohio and established that community. Other settlements in this network drew members from a broader range of other communities. Return to Text

[100] . Edward A. Kline and Monroe L. Beachy, "History and Dynamics of the New Order Amish of Holmes County, Ohio," Old Order Notes 18 (Fall-Winter 1998), 7-19; regarding Lancaster, see Abner F. Beiler, "A Brief History of the New Order Amish Church, 1966-1976," unpublished paper, MHL. A few New Order leaders, like Schlabach and Gingerich, had been connected personally with the mission movement, but most New Orders had not been. The link between the mission movement and the New Orders was often indirect. Return to Text

[101]  Jan Shipps, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 109-29, offers a good example of thinking about group identity forward through time (rather than backward), and thoughts on the changing nature of identity markers from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. 32 The Mennonite Quarterly Review 33 The Amish Mission Movement 7