Plank, David (1833-1912)

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David Plank (1833-1912), bishop of the South Un­ion and Walnut Grove Amish Men­nonite congregations in Logan County, Ohio, from 1895 to 1912, was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel (later, deacon) and Juliana Hertzler Plank. With his parents he moved to Union Township, Logan County, Ohio, in 1845. In 1856 he was married to Mary Hertzler. After his ordination in 1859 he sided with the more progress­sive neighboring Champaign County bishop, John Warye, in his controversy with the Logan County leaders. Always alert for new ideas and plans for Christian work, he attended a Brethren Sunday school near his home and in 1863 with the consent of his bishop and the unanimous vote of the congregation he organized in Logan County the first Amish Sunday school in America, held in an Amish meetinghouse. The next year he organized a simi­lar school in the Hooley Amish meetinghouse in Champaign County (later known as the Oak Grove Church). He served as both superintendent and teacher for a number of years. Following the complete break between the two districts in the late 1860's he and his father had charge of the seceding Logan County group, which alternated services with the Champaign congregation and in 1875 erected the Walnut Grove Amish Mennonite Church in Union Township near Plank's home. Plank was successful in his small farming operations and had special talent in drawing, carpentry, and cabinet-making. After the bishop at South Union moved to Kansas, the congregation at that place was left with­out a bishop. Following the organization of the Ohio Amish Mennonite Conference in 1893 earnest efforts to reconcile differences between South Union and Walnut Grove resulted in a decision to place the Walnut Grove and South Union ministers in the lot for bishop and to ordain for both congre­gations whoever was chosen. David Plank was chosen and ordained in 1895 and served until his death in 1912, when A. I. Yoder, as son of the South Union minister, was installed as Plank's suc­cessor. Plank did much to heal the breach between the two factions.


Umble, John. "Early Sunday Schools at West Liberty, Ohio," Mennonite Quarterly Review (1930): 6-50, passim.

Author(s) John S Umble
Date Published 1959

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Umble, John S. "Plank, David (1833-1912)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 5 Feb 2023.,_David_(1833-1912)&oldid=143695.

APA style

Umble, John S. (1959). Plank, David (1833-1912). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 February 2023, from,_David_(1833-1912)&oldid=143695.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 185-186. All rights reserved.

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