Stuckey, Joseph (1825-1902)

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Joseph Stuckey, founder and outstand­ing leader of the Central (Illinois) Conference of Mennonites, was born in Alsace 12 July 1825, the oldest of the eight children of Peter Stuckey and Elizabeth Sommers, his grandparents having lived in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. He immi­grated with his parents in 1830 to Butler County, Ohio, where he was baptized at the age of eighteen in the Amish congregation. He married Barbara Roth on 17 December 1844; they had two chil­dren. In October 1858 he moved to McLean County, Illinois, where he was ordained deacon, minister on 8 April 1860, and bishop on 26 April 1864, both times by Bishop Jonathan Yoder, for the Rock Creek (Yoder) Amish Mennonite (as merged into Mennonite Church [MC]) Church, and after Yoder's death became the recognized leader of the Amish Mennonites of Central Illinois. From 1872 to his death on 5 February 1902, he was pastor of the North Danvers congregation. He was in great demand as a preacher and bishop to assist in ordinations, com­munion services, etc., and traveled widely among the Amish of the central states. He was a regular and influential attendant at the Amish general con­ferences known as Diener-Versammlungen until 1872. In that year, because he refused the re­quest of the conference to excommunicate a member of his congregation who advocated universalism, although Stuckey himself never held this view, he was declared out of fellowship. Most of the Central Illinois Amish congregations stood with Stuckey, and as a result were out of fellowship with the main body of Amish. Stuckey, however, did not organize his following into a conference until 1899, shortly before his death, when the Central Illinois Conference was established.

He published Eine Begebenheit die sich in der Mennoniten-Gemeinde in Deutschland und in der Schweiz von 1693 bis 1700 zugetragen hat (Elkhart, 1883), dealing with the Amish schism.


Weaver, W. B. History of the Central Conference Men­nonite Church. Danvers, 1926.

Yoder, Harry. "Joseph Stuckey and the Central Conference." Mennonite Life VI (April 1951): 16-19.

Author(s) William B Weaver
Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Weaver, William B and Harold S Bender. "Stuckey, Joseph (1825-1902)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Jun 2021.,_Joseph_(1825-1902)&oldid=121587.

APA style

Weaver, William B and Harold S Bender. (1959). Stuckey, Joseph (1825-1902). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 June 2021, from,_Joseph_(1825-1902)&oldid=121587.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 647. All rights reserved.

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