Belleville Old Order Amish Settlement (Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, USA)
The Belleville, Pennsylvania, Old Order Amish Settlement is located in Mifflin County, in the picturesque Kishacoquillas Valley between the Jacks and Stone Mountain ranges of central Pennsylvania. Belleville lies in the central portion of the Big Valley and serves as one of the main shopping towns for the Amish community. Amish settlers moved into this area in the early 1790s from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Mifflin County settlement figured largely in the western movement of the Amish. Mifflin, along with Somerset County (Meyersdale), provided many settlers in the new communities in Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa.
The mobility of Mifflin County Amish can he attributed in part to strong personalities with settled convictions among its bishops and ministers. In 1986 there were at least 12 Amish-related groups springing from tensions and differences on such matters as the use of meetinghouses, mode of baptism, dress codes, buggy tops, and Meidung (shunning, avoidance). Many older Amish communities have become extinct by moving on to Amish-Mennonite affiliations (conservative Mennonites) or moving to another one of Pennsylvania's 40 Amish settlements. In 1986 the Belleville settlement had 12 church districts (congregations) with a total Amish population of about 2,000. Sociologists identify the Belleville community, with its many different Amish and Mennonite groups, as the largest single community of diverse expressions of Anabaptist culture found anywhere in North America.
In 2017 it was estimated that there were 30 church districts within the Mifflin County area settlement with an estimated population of 3,905.
“Twelve Largest Amish Settlements, 2017.” Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College. June 2017. Web. 31 August 2017. http://groups.etown.edu/amishstudies/statistics/twelve-largest-settlements-2017/
|Author(s)||Samuel L Yoder|
|Date Published||August 2017|
Cite This Article
Yoder, Samuel L. "Belleville Old Order Amish Settlement (Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2017. Web. 23 May 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Belleville_Old_Order_Amish_Settlement_(Mifflin_County,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=154164.
Yoder, Samuel L. (August 2017). Belleville Old Order Amish Settlement (Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Belleville_Old_Order_Amish_Settlement_(Mifflin_County,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=154164.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 65-66. All rights reserved.
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