Sunday, February 24, 2013

Amish Minister Ordination Series at Ohio Bed and Breakfast

Here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, we are continuing our series of Amish minister ordinations and related topics.

In any Amish community, a ministry position is not one that is coveted or solicited for. Reluctance and fear might more typically describe the mood.  Ordinations can be quite complicated if there are dissentions and continuing strife within the church.  In such cases there may be dread among lay members of ever beinging nominated and selected for ministry.  Such was the case in or about 1880 in Pennsylvania, in a community that had suffered great disagreement.  I am restating the following account from a 1983 Amish publication, Family Life.  The original account of this story was given by John Umble.

Ohio Amish Homestead
 The story is that of an ordination that was held at the home of Samuel Kennel in Union County, Pennyslvania.  A grandson of Deacon Christian Stoltzfus drew the dreaded and fateful book that called the bearer into a lifetime of servanthood to the church.  The shock was so great for the young man that he fell to the floor in a state of unconsciousness.  Initially it was thought that he simply had fainted; however, after many attempts were made to revive him, a physician was called.  Someone who was present said that the doctor worked on him for half a day to revive him.

The young man survived the ordeal; however, he was never ordained, and he never fully recovered from this traumatic experience.  It was the opinion of some of the ministers that the young man should submit himself to the decision of the lot.

He was a carpenter by trade and often, when his boss came upon him, he found him sitting or standing, holding his hammer ready to strike and his eyes "fixed on vacancy."  If undisturbed, he soon resumed work. Fear gripped the young man's life, always concerned that he was committing a grevious sin by refusing the "Call of God," and yet it was not as great as the fear of assuming the call to ministry.

Later, in 1883, in another ordination, another man, David Stoltzfus, was chosen by lot.  He also found it difficult to accept his ordination.  He too felt crushed by the weight of this responsibility.  Feeling utterly unfit for the position, he, for a long time, experienced periods of depression; but eventually overcame his fears and performed his duties.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast Rose Garden Room

Consider a stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, fine accommodations where innkeepers, Paul and Loretta Coblentz share true life stories and point you to exceptional points of interest.  will present to you a most memorable experience.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
February 25, 2013


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