At one time the Amish community at Jamesport was divided into six districts comprised of 12 to 30 families each.

Church meetings are held every other Sunday in a home in each district; the alternate Sunday is meant to be used for socializing. A family may visit relatives or friends or may choose to attend church in another district since services are scheduled in three places each Sunday. The German hymnals contain no music. Tunes are learned and passed from one generation to the next through a song leader. The sermon is given by the bishop of the district who serves in his capacity for his lifetime. Bishops are assisted by ministers and a deacon who also serve a lifetime.

All members of a family are expected to attend church in their district unless there is illness. Children from infancy attend 3-hour services with adults. The meeting is held twice in the same home before moving on to the next home. A simple meal is served by the host family, prepared prior to Sunday. The afternoon is spent visiting. All plan to return to their homes by chore time. Sunday night is reserved for young people to share in a “sing” at the same host home. It is during these get-togethers that lifetime partners are often shyly picked and courtships begin.

Church financing is by collections taken twice a year, when communion is served, usually in the spring and fall. A fund is maintained to help those in the church in need, such as for hospital bills or following a fire or death in the family. Baptism, by sprinkling, takes place by profession of faith, usually between the ages of 15 and 20.

Wherever the Amish gather you’ll probably find a lineup of horse buggies such as these.