About the author


Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.

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  1. Wendy

    That does look good. I was wondering how many outsiders come by to take advantage of the bake sale and dinners.

  2. Barb Wright

    That dinner looks so good!! And only $8? That community sounds so interesting!

  3. Kentuckylady717

    Yum, this sure looks good 🙂 wished I lived close…..I’d be there with bells on and buy some bakery items too…….love, love the Amish bakery goodies….

  4. Rhonda

    Boy, that sure does look like a wonderful community. The food looks delicious.. hope you put more info up on that one!

  5. Dan Holsinger

    Hello Kevin,

    you wrote: “If anyone knows more about the Lobelville, Tennessee Amish I’d like to hear more.”

    I combined all the information I could find about Lobelville in this Wikipedia article:


    The Amish at Pearisburg are affiliated with the Michigan Churches of the Amish, like the Amish at Manton, Michigan und Smyrna and Unity in Maine.

    Harry Wanner, who founded the church at LeRoy Michigan and who was an influencial personality for the Michgan Churches, lived at Lobelville for several years.

    The whole complicated story of Harry Wanner and his large familiy can be read here: http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/peterhoover-real-anabaptists-1.html

    The story of Harry Wanner is very helpful to undestand the Michigan Churches and groups like the Noah Hoover Mennonites, the Orthodox Mennonites and para-Amish groups like Lobelville, Caneyville, Brownsville and Hestand.

    1. Kevin

      Thanks a bunch, Dan, how did you get interested in these “para groups”?

  6. Dan Holsinger

    My question was: Why are the Amish how they are? Could there be Amish without the German Language, without horse and buggy, without restrictions of technologies, without shunning etc.?

    Amish congregations are autonomous, that is, they can change their set of rules (Ordnung) if a majority decides to do so. They can decide to shift totally to the English language, start to use cars or any other technology etc. And there Amish (and Old Order Mennonite) congregation who do so.

    In many cases these changes of the Ordnung start a process that leads to assimilation into mainstream society over several decades. Normally groups change their Ordnung without the intent to assimilate, but normally they do not really know, what the consequences are.

    If you look at groups that changed their Ordnung you can see what works and what not.

    Among the Amish the most interesting groups concerning this aspect are the New Order Amish and the “Michigan Churches” of the Amish, which is an Old Order Amish affiliation.

    Among the Old Order Mennonites, it’s the Noah Hoover Mennonites and the Orthodox Mennonites, who became more strict and the Horning Mennonites, who are Old Order, but drive cars and the Virginia Old Order Mennonites, who are in all aspects Old Order, but speak English only.

    And the there are the para-Amish groups with their own approach. The Lobelville community seems to have no Ordnung at all, Caneyville and Brownvilletry to keep up the vision of Elmo Stoll etc.

    Looking at all these groups you can get an idea, what is possible and what not.

    I found out, that it it is possible to drop one element, e. g. shunning (Michigan Churches), the German language (Virginia Old Order Mennonites), horse and buggy (Horning Mennonites), but the result normally is a slower growth of that group.

    If several key elements are dropped at the same time, this leads to groups without growth or to groups which are in decline, like many New Order Amish.

    The more I studied all these groups who changed their Ordnung, the more I understood why the Amish are the way they are.

    This matter is much more complicated than I can describe in a few words here, but I hope you get the idea behind my interest in Old Order groups, that are not mainstream.

    1. Kevin

      Dan that is quite interesting….These “para groups” have been on my radar for sometime and I’ve nurtured and interest in them myself, but I’m not sure I ever stood why until I read your comments…I think you are right that if you study these groups on the “fringe” it helps to understand the larger whole. You should take a look at the Amish of Flat Rock, Illinois. They are a small group but very progressive and, for Amish, very evangelical….they consider themselves Amish in Flat Rock, but they are definitely “out there” by Amish standards.

  7. sara marsh

    Dan’s comments are very informative. Enjoyed them very much.

    1. Kevin

      Yes, I appreciate Dan’s insight!


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