|Amish Church in Home - Amish Bench Wagon|
An excellent reference for Anabaptist history is the book, Smith's Story of the Mennonites, by C. Henry Smith. The Anabaptists who followed Menno Simons, (born 1496), preceded the Amish, who follow the teachings of Jacob Ammon, (born February 12, 1644). The Amish broke from the Anabaptists, who were followers of Menno Simons. Menno Simon's followers were not called Mennonites until they came to America.
Because, from the early 1500's, Anabaptism was a capital crime; great persecution prevailed for those who refused infant baptism in the Catholic church. Dissenters and those who provided food and shelter to Anabaptists were imprisoned, burned at the stake, beheaded, or sometimes drowned. Anabaptists met secretly to worship. Today, many Amish and Mennonites make pilgrimages to a Swiss Taufer (Anabaptist) Meeting Cave where ancestors held secret church services.
|Swiss Mennonite Cave - Schurch Tour|
|1814 Copy of Martyr's Mirror|
Today, as in years past, many American conservative Mennonite Churches are severely plain, devoid of adornment; no steeple and no stained windows. Shown below is a Beachy Amish Church in Fryburg, south of Mt. Hope. The far left door is the ladies entrance and the far right door is the mens entrance. After the service, anyone may use the double doors in the middle.
|Beachy Amish Church|
Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
June 6, 2014