Monday, March 19, 2018

Religion in vehicular use... holy smokes, this is all new to me! The Horning Church of Black-bumper Weaverland Mennonites split from their church in 1927 over the use of cars, but covered up the flashy chrome with black paint.

The Weaverland Old Order Mennonite Conference emerged from the Old Order division, that occurred in 1893 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania over the question of English language preaching. The trigger for the split was the a quarrel about the installation of a pulpit, vs traditional preacher's table.

Those Weaverland Mennonites opposed to cars became known as the Wenger Mennonites, more formally known as the Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church

Weaverland Mennonites are one of three groups in the Old Order groups which permit automobiles, the others are the Wisler Mennonite Conference and the Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference.

 Allowing cars and modern farm equipment since 1927 has brought about a major division among the Old Order Mennonites, who still do not drive cars.

The Weaverland group bases bases their doctrine and many church practices on the Dortrecht Confession of Faith, drawn in 1632 in Holland.

And now I finally know what grandma meant by Pennsylvania Dutch!

The church permits a period of exploration of American life known as Rumspringa, it's a rite-of-passage period for Old Order Amish when teens have time away from the religion, to get a good look at the crazy life the rest of the country lives, where they can decide to split from family and religion and head out into the wide world, or head back and join the church and spend the rest of their life committed to their conservative and strict religious life. About 90% stick with their religion

a Rumspringa practice developed by teenagers driving black cars in the 1960s was that when they thought they could get away with it, they installed radios in their cars and turned their white sidewalls out.

As communion approached, they would turn their white sidewalls back to the inside of the car, so only black tires showed. They also would remove their radios, or at least their more visible antennas.

Rumspringa for Amish youth normally begins around the age of 14 to 16 and ends when a youth chooses baptism within the Amish church, or instead leaves the community

Thanks Gary!


  1. The elders might want to have a talk with the rebel driving the Monte Carlo.

  2. The PA Dutch, which are actually German, who had cars, used to black out all the trim. More recently I see hubcaps, window trim, and mirrors that are still bright.

    During each boys Rumspringa he’s allowed to smoke, drink, and dance the hoochie coo. Usually only for a couple years but some stretch it into their twenties if they have tolerant parents and a good paying job. Sewing their wild oats if you will.

    1. The Weaverland group bases bases their doctrine and many church practices on the Dortrecht Confession of Faith, drawn in 1632 in Holland.

      Sounds dutch to me, but, then there is something about them being german too... oh hell, that's too much history to work out for a car guy post.

  3. True car guys,,,,,they all back into their parking spots!

  4. Some of the Groffdale Conference Mennonites use tractors for farming, but they have to have steel wheels so they aren't used as transportation. There are some farms like this in Ohio, where you can see an otherwise modern tractor, but it has steel wheels on it.

    1. dang! That's the first I've heard of that! It's an obtuse way to make the tractor acceptable to the ultra religious! Thanks for the lead!