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The Michigan Churches or Michigan related Amish are a subgroup or affiliation of Old Order Amish. They emerged in 1970 in Michigan. This affiliation is more evangelical and more open to outsiders, so-called "seekers", than other Old Order Amish affiliations.[1][2]



The church at Mio was founded in 1970 by Amish people from Geauga County, Ohio, and from northern Indiana.[3] Other local churches that now are affiliated with the Michigan Churches originally were not Amish, but were founded by evangelistic minded people of Old Order backgrounds, who were open to outsiders. Later these congregations joined the Michigan Churches.

The church at Manton, originally not Amish, was started by people, who came from Le Roy, Michigan, a horse-and-buggy, but eagerly evangelistic church that was founded in 1981 by Harry Wanner (1935–2012), an awakened minister of Stauffer Old Order Mennonite background. In 1994 the church at Le Roy disbanded. The church at Manton eventually joined the Old Order Amish. The Church at Smyrna, Maine, originally affiliated with the "Christian Communities" of Elmo Stoll, also more evangelistic and open to seekers, affiliated with Manton after the "Christian Communities" disbanded after Stoll's early death.[4]

Custom and BeliefEdit

It is stated that there are more people among the Michigan Churches that feel sure to be saved or consider themselves to be born again Christians than among other subgroups of Old Order Amish.[5] In accordance with that, G.C. Waldrep stated that the Michigan Churches show many spiritual and material similarities to the New Orders, while they are still technically considered a part of the larger Old Order group.[6]

Settlements and congregationsEdit

In 2011 the subgroup was present in 15 settlements in 3 states and had 20 congregations or church districts.[7] In Michigan the subgroup has settlements in Mio, Evart, Fremont, Manton and Newaygo. In Maine there were three settlements: Smyrna, Unity and Patton.[8] The Amish near Pearisburg, Virginia, are partly affiliated with the Michigan Churches while another part belongs to the Believers in Christ, Lobelville, a para-Amish group.


  1. ^ "Manton, Michigan" at
  2. ^ "The Atypical Amish Community at Unity, Maine" at
  3. ^ "Michigan Amish" at
  4. ^ Peter Hoover: Radical Anabaptists Today - Part 4 at
  5. ^ Joe Keim: “Are the Amish Truly Born Again?”
  6. ^ G.C. Waldrep: "The New Order Amish And Para-Amish Groups: Spiritual Renewal Within Tradition." in Mennonite Quarterly Review 3 (2008), page 426.
  7. ^ Kraybill, Donald; Karen M. Johnson-Weiner; Steven M. Nolt (2013). The Amish. Johns Hopkins Univ Pr. p. 139.
  8. ^ "Maine Amish" at

External linksEdit


  • Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD 2013.
  • Charles Hurst and David McConnell: An Amish Paradox. Diversity and Change in the World's Largest Amish Community, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD 2010.