Amish Orders 101
Square Haircuts & Flickering Lanterns
You may have noticed them alongside parked buggies, selling handwoven baskets or fresh produce. Or perhaps you’ve passed their homesteads with their dark red barns, spartan homes, and dirt lanes.
An Order Divided
Tobe Amish are a little-known subgroup of Amish that formed in 1940. The group started when Tobias (Tobe) Hochstetler’s fellow ministers excommunicated him for accusations of dishonesty in business. Tobe and his supporters—mostly extended family members—withdrew and started their own church.
DAN CHURCH AMISH
OLD ORDER AMISH
The Group in the Middle
Old Order are the largest group of Amish in central Ohio. Most other subgroups of Amish stem from this “mother” group that had its beginnings in the mid-1850s. It has been said that the Old Order stand on the middle of the Anabaptist escalator—above them are the more progressive New Order and farther down the escalator are the less progressive groups, such as the Swartzentruber Amish.
An Issue of Faith
New Order Amish are often seen as one of the most progressive of Amish groups. Less traditional dress, neatly groomed beards and hair, and homes with telephones are just a few things that set them apart from their Old Order counterparts.