The Amish and The Mennonites
The Anabaptist group in Casey County is referred to as both the Amish and Mennonites, however, they are actually Old Order Mennonites. This means that although they are Mennonites, they observe many of the more strict separatist policies of the Amish.
If you want to know a little more about the two distinct religious groups, we have a brief comparison below. Want to learn a bit more about the history of each, especially in Casey County? Keep reading!
Mennonites and Amish both share a Swiss Anabaptist (meaning to be baptized again) origin, both believe in simple living, both believe in non-violence. But there are some marked differences:
The Amish communities originate from Pennsylvania immigrants, avoid the use of modern technology and still drive a buggy as their primary form of transportation. Traditionalist Amish also sport untrimmed beards, horse-drawn farming implements, and separated from the Swiss Anabaptist in 1693 when leader, Jacob Ammann, felt that the Anabaptist church and religious leaders were not adhering closely enough to their separatist beliefs.
His branch moved in a more conservative direction and were called “Amish” after Ammann.
Most Amish adhere to the principles of plain dress, and often speak a derivative of German known as “Pennsylvania German” or “Pennsylvania Dutch.” Once an individual is baptized (usually in their late teens or early twenties), they may not marry outside the failth. Amish, due to their religious beliefs, do not serve in the military, nor do they buy insurance or participate in social security. They do not use telephones or electric service delivered by power lines.
Mennonites, on the other hand, often resemble the rest of our modern population, although some remain more strict in their interpretation of daily living practices. The Mennonites all retain the belief in living simply, and see stewardship as an important part of their lives and their religious service. They strive to stay aware of the needs of others.
Casey County Mennonites
Along the roads of Casey County, it is quite common to pass a buggy — or a few buggies — when traveling by car. Many members of this community use bicycles as their preferred mode of travel.
The 300+ members of this local South Fork area Mennonites adhere to plain dress styles with both men and women usually wearing hats and bonnets when outdoors, and often speaking Pennsylvania Dutch in the businesses they run in the South Fork area of Casey County.
To learn more about the Mennonite-run Businesses, visit the About Casey County page.
The members of this community arrived in the South Fork region in 1976 and hailed from like-minded groups in Pennsylvania and Missouri. They settled in the South Fork area because they were seeking affordable farm land and found it in the beautiful rolling knobs and valleys of Casey County.