Swartzentruber Amish, Who Are They And What Do They Do

Swartzentruber Amish, Who Are They And What Do They Do

By Josh Brown

February 1, 2022

Amish, Amish Products, Amish religion, Amish Way of Life, Old order Amish, Swartzentruber Amish

What Do You Know About The Swartzentruber Amish

The Amish Buggy Outside Of Mike's Antiques And Moore.

The Amish Buggy Outside Of Mike's Antiques And Moore.

Have you ever seen an Amish horse and buggy and took a look at the Amish family inside of it? If you have and found you have a curiosity about the Amish, you are just like many others. Maybe your first experience seeing someone dressed in Amish fashion, was in a Hollywood movie. Maybe much like me, you have lived in or around an Amish community, or had friends that are Amish... Well the Crockett Cooner is here again at The Amish of Ethridge clearing up some ideas and misconceptions you might have about the Swartzentruber Amish community.  So sit right back, its time I haul you out a few good Amish stories!!!

Mckenzie Tennessee Amish Buggies.

McKenzie Tennessee Amish Buggies.

Why Do The Swartzentruber Amish Live And Dress The Way They Do

When you start talking about Swartzentruber Amish people, you are seeing the "Old Order Amish". Much like different religious groups and churches through out the world. The old order Amish have their own unique way of living life, dressing, and what their religious views are. To sum it up in a nut shell, the Swartzentruber section of the Amish live and dress with no frills or vanity such as electricity in their homes, colorful clothes, or vehicles !!! This is due to their religious view points and what they believe are correct teachings from the Amish Bible and the King James Bible. Seeing this with our "English Eyes", as the Amish saying goes. Must be strange to people that have never been around Amish people especially the Swartzentruber that live mostly as if its the 1800's .  

Notice I said MOSTLY as if its the 1800's, the Amish can also use gas powered motors and generators to power such things as saw mills and well pumps. Also, the Swartzentruber Amish can use such things as batteries for flashlights, just to give an example. But, you really have to be associated with the Swartzentruber Amish people to understand their mindset. Don't be confused just because you see T.V. shows that lead you to believe the Amish are stern reserved people. This does not mean they are not creative and have a good sense of humor . The Swartzentruber Amish people are for the most part good hard working religious people that prefer to be simple. But, just as in any large population of people you will occasionally have a bad apple.

Points To Remember About The Swartzentruber Amish Community

  • They don't have home phones, air-conditioning , or electric in their homes
  • They prefer that visitors don't speak English to their children, they use Pennsylvania dutch when speaking to their kids
  • Many times in an Amish Community Amish people walk on the road, so watch out while driving
  • Amish do not work on Sunday, it is for church and family time
Amish Man Raking Hay.

Amish Man Raking Hay.

Lets Talk Interesting Amish Stories

As a person that has lived my entire life around an Amish community I have had many dealings with young and old Amish people. I have to say that for the most part everyone I have ever met that was Amish where quiet the conversationalist, when they where not working. I have to say that they where always simple types of people. But, for many people that will read this post especially those that have worked on a farm or have worked in construction for a living. You know that its the "little things" while doing those types of jobs that keep things interesting. The Amish are know different, most all Amish people are farmers and they learn the farming trade from a very young age.

"A personal story here from the Cooner" One time in my teenage years, many years ago. I worked and picked up square bailed hay, all summer with two teen age Amish boys. Now its believed the Amish want ride in a car or in my case a wagon pulled by a truck. This is not true, on a very hot July day these Amish boys had been walking all day long, from the field back to the barn to store hay after picking the hay up by hand. Myself and a few other friends there working, knew they where hot and tired. So, we ask them "are you guys not give out, come on and ride, we want say anything" well needless to say, here they came right up on that hay trailer. You know seventeen years later I saw one of those boys all grown up, heck he's the same age as me. He remembered me and my name seventeen years later!!! He kept talking about how hot it was that day in July and how we had so much fun as kids working together....                                           Crockett Cooner

 So, with this old fashion lifestyle of simple, farming, and hard work the Swartzentruber Amish believe in, you might think they never take some liberties on making life easier. Just keep in mind they are just creative in the ways they approach life's situations to keep their religious up bringing in check. There has been many more stories of folks that are Amish being very creativity to accomplish their goals, but skit the edge of their religious beliefs.

The Swartzentruber Amish Shunning

Now what is a Shunned Amish person, and what happens to them when they are shunned? In the Swartzentruber Amish as you all know, they are the most strict and reserved of all the Amish groups. In the Swartzentruber Amish community in my area they go to church every two weeks. The church is usually held in a different Amish home on the weeks they have chosen and their church service is usually about three hours long. In which the Amish congregation sing religious hymns and listen to the bishop, minister, and deacon lead the lesson for that Sunday, express things such as "who's getting married", and collect funds for the church. Much like all other religious groups the Amish have their own ideas in what is correct, in keeping with "Gods word" or what they have determined as a correct way to live a religious life. 

So, for the sake of conversation, if you have a Swartzentruber Amish person that is say, young. That has decided they don't like the ideas of living in a old fashion type of lifestyle or rules, that has basically started defying what has been taught in the Amish church, they get shunned.  In this shunning the other members of the Amish community will try and reason with them and bring them back to the lifestyle and faith. But, if this does not work the decision to leave is up to the individual Amish person, usually if they are over eighteen years of age.  The Amish person is then shunned and it is usually for life, meaning that their family will basically disown them after they have chosen to leave or have done something so bad it can't be resolved in the Amish churches eyes! It could be the shunned Amish person goes back after time and wants to speak to a family member. It might be that even the shunned person eats with their family, but it will be at a sperate table, and the family want speak to them, basically they turn their back to the shunned Amish person.  To sum up a shunning it is basically a Amish person has decided to leave their teaching and upbringing for what ever the reason maybe. To live a "English" type of lifestyle the ways of life everyone NOT Amish usually lives.

The Etiquette For Visiting The Swartzentruber Amish Community

  1. First when visiting then "Old Order" Swartzentruber Amish community make sure to plan your trip Monday-Saturday keep in mind the Amish will not work on Sunday.
  2. Keep in mind that while visiting you are at someone's home and farm, NOT on a tour as if in a national park. 
  3. It's good policy NOT to speak English to the smaller children around Amish homes. Most of the time they Amish people would like to speak only in Pennsylvania dutch to their younger children.
  4. The last but most important please try to refrain from using electrical devices such as cell phones and laptops while visiting, the old order Amish do NOT like their children exposed to such things.

Thanks again for reading, I hope you found this post to be helpful and give a little insight on the Swartzentruber Amish community. Make sure to check out the rest of the Amish of Ethridge website, and our other websites. Please leave us a review we would like to hear your ideas and opinions. If you have a second make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more Amish related topics on this page. Don't forget to check out The Amish of Ethridge on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Thanks again for reading and have a great and wonderful day. 


What Are Some Of The Different Sectors In The Amish Faith?

There are four large groups in the Amish faith including the Old World Order there is also The New Order Amish, Beachy Amish, and Mennonites.

Do The Amish Use Alternative Power Sources?

Yes, many times the Amish will use solar, wind, and hydro electric to create power.

So What Are Some Examples Of Amish ingenuity To Make Life On Amish Farm Simpler?

Rain water collection to water live stock, butter and ice-cream churned on a drill press, and reflectors that are hand made on buggy wheels.  

Is An Amish Shunning For Life?

Not always, an Amish person can sometimes re- join the church after a shunning, but it's not likely most of the time. 

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