April 6, 2013

Mennonite Differences Cause Kentucky Exodus

Mennonite Driving Buggy
A community of Mennonites in central Kentucky are undergoing a split based upon what is
considered increased "wordly" encroachment on the group. Based at South Fork in Casey County, about 75 percent of the 80 Mennonite families in the area have decided to move close to Spencer, Tennessee.

Controversial to a key leader heading up the move - Ammon Weaver - is the increasing use of things like cell phones, electricity and motorized vehicles, according to the Advocate-Messenger.

Although the split is amicable, Weaver said this: "It's really important that we focus on the true meaning, on serving the Lord more and not so much on lifestyle. We are not condemning, we are choosing not to participate any longer."

"The strongest defense against Satan is a strong family," Weaver said. "Anything that tends to tear down strong families is suspect, so you remove the temptation. We're just people like everyone else, and there's a constant tendency to go astray."

Weaver is a very successful businessman, and acquired approximately 5,000 acres in Tennessee help launch the new settlement for almost $5 million.

Wanting to be more insulated from the world, Weaver said the new land is almost totally contiguous, making it easier and shorter to drive buggies between areas of the community, while protecting the religious group from being negatively influenced by outsiders.

According to Blaine Staat, director of the Casey County Chamber of Commerce, the community will sorely miss Weaver because of his business acumen and contribution to the overall area.

Weaver reiterated that his decision to leave, as well as others' decision to leave, is based upon the desire to help resist the temptations from the world.

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