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New Mennonites, a colloquial name given locally to several schismatic groups separating from older established Mennonite bodies, both by the older group and the general public. Its counterpart designation, "Old Mennonite", was likewise used to designate the original group from which the new had broken off. Three instances of this usage have occurred: (1) the Reformed Mennonites, who separated from the Lancaster (MC) Conference in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1812; (2) the Oberholtzer group (eventually becoming the Eastern District Conference, General Conference Mennonite Church), which broke off from the Franconia Conference (MC) in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1847-48; (3) the Mennonite Brethren in Christ (now Evangelical Missionary Church), who broke off from the Mennonite Church (MC) in Indiana and Ontario in 1874-75. While the terms "New Mennonite" and "Old Mennonite" were fairly common in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ontario, they have gradually almost died out.

One conference group in Ontario, the New Mennonite Church of Canada West, existed from 1850 to March 1875 when it merged with the Reforming Mennonite Society to form the United Mennonite Church. This body, after two further mergers, became the Mennonite Brethren in Christ in 1883.

The term "New Maneest" was sometimes used to refer to the Apostolic Christian Church in Illinois, New York, and Ohio in the first part of the 20th century. The more common term in these districts was "New Amish," although the Apostolic Christian Church had no connection with the Amish either in Europe or America and was not a schismatic group in North America. In Switzerland the Apostolic group has commonly been called "Neutäufer," a term which historically has some justification since about half of the original group in 1832 was drawn from the Emmental (Switzerland) Mennonite (Täufer) congregation.

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Sam Steiner
Date Published February 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Sam Steiner. "New Mennonites." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2010. Web. 29 May 2016.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Sam Steiner. (February 2010). New Mennonites. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 862-863. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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