Pathway Publishers

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Pathway Publishers was founded in 1964 by two Amish farmers, David Wagler and Joseph Stoll, out of a thirst for more printed materials pertaining to Anabaptist literature. With an earnest desire to reprint old books, the business opened in a farm home in Canada. Neighbors became interested in the new venture and several people, all Amish, with a variety of technical aptitudes, joined the printing enterprise. The Pathway Publishers office is located near Aylmer, Ontario, with equipment and presses powered by diesel generators since no commercial electricity is allowed. The business publishes books by Amish authors, some classic Anabaptist literature, and an assortment of pamphlets for the plain people. Biggest sellers are the Pathway Readers, a complete set of stories compiled by Amish scholars for grades one through eight, including workbooks and teacher's guide. They are used in Amish private schools.

Pathway Publishers also publish three monthly periodicals, each with a wide circulation. The Blackboard Bulletin focuses on the needs of Amish teachers, parents, and school board members. Young Companion aims at Amish youth. Family Life is a popular publication for the promotion of Christian living. Readers of Family Life are given information on new Amish settlements, history, and human interest stories as well as recipes, household hints, and health tips.

The main thrust in Amish publishing has been to articulate many of the assumptions of Amish culture that have never been recorded. Older beliefs are reexamined. New interpretations are given for changing circumstances. Amish readers respond in a variety of ways to this new literature. New ideas cause objections. The thrust toward greater literacy and articulation may meet the needs of some readers; others fear that such movements of enlightenment may tend to undermine the oral tradition of the Amish. Pathway Publishers has thrived with record sales on such major works as The Amish in America: Settlements That Failed, 1840-1960 by David Luthy (1986).

Pathway Publishers have developed a comprehensive Heritage Historical Library at Aylmer under the direction of David Luthy. Visitors are welcome by appointment.


Hostetler, John A. Amish Society, 3rd. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980: 366-68.

Additional Information

Website: Pathway Publishers

Author(s) Samuel L Yoder
Date Published 1990

Cite This Article

MLA style

Yoder, Samuel L. "Pathway Publishers." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 5 Feb 2023.

APA style

Yoder, Samuel L. (1990). Pathway Publishers. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 February 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 679. All rights reserved.

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