The farmlands of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Ontario are among the most productive in North America. Many of the farmers here are different though, but different by choice. They are the Old Order Mennonites, sometimes called the ‘Plain People,’ they trace their heritage back hundreds of years.
Despite all the advances in clothing, technology, agriculture, housing, and society, their community exists in a time capsule, living like their 19th century forefathers.
Though the population is dwindling, an estimated 17,000 adult Old Order Mennonites to 224,000 in other similar groups, families still pass on the traditions.
James Rhodes and his wife, Mary Ethel, born and raised in the Dayton, Virginia community, not far from the home in which they are now raising 8 of their 9 children as Old Order Mennonites.
Old Order Mennonite is a term for the Mennonite groups who dress plainly and reject modern technologies. They put the disciplined church community, rather than individual religious experience, at the center of their Christian faith.