Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Erlenbach, Switzerland

Brandi, our new group sales director, sat on this chair during a tele-conference today in my office. She asked if I wanted it moved following the meeting. I didn't. I keep it beside my desk. I bought it in Erlenbach, Switzerland, in 1977 and brought it home in my suitcase. Jacob Ammann, the founder of the Amish sect, was born in Erlenbach. It is a beautiful mountainous village with picturesque chalet architecture. The little chair factory sat right in the middle of the village. No one living there today knows any thing about Jacob Ammann, the Anabaptists, or the Amish.

By the time Amman became disenchanted with the main branch of the Swiss Brethren, he had moved into Alsace, which is now part of southeastern France. It was here that he confronted over sixty ministers and demanded they take sides. About a third followed Ammann into a splinter group that focused upon the ban, or social avoidance of excommunicated members of the church family. As a minority other distinctive outward features were added to differentiate the two groups. These features included dress, hair styles, and church service format. Most of these distinctions remain with the Amish today.

My chair reminds me daily of our mission to educate curious outsiders about Amish society so they can increase their tolerance of people around them that are different from them.

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