Weaverland Mennonites – “Black Bumper”
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 (Canada)). Allowing cars and modern farm equipment since 1927 has brought about a major division among the Old Orders.
The Weaverland group bases bases their doctrine and many church practices on the Dortrecht Confession of Faith, drawn in 1632 in Holland. Their meetinghouses are simple and spartan, and they practice a plain dress code which carries over into homes, furnishings and general lifestyle. Fellowship and mutuality is very meaningful to them. They maintain an Aid Plan to help their families who suffer from accident, disaster, and long term health problems resulting in lengthy hospital stays.
The Weaverland Conference is based in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; however, they have reached out with new settlements in surrounding counties and into the states of New York, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin. They have 31 congregations with over 4,800 members. The similar Markham conference in Ontario has 17 congregations with 1550 members.
Distinctive with the Weaverland Conference, all members drive black vehicles with black bumpers, grilles and hubcaps. To their neighbors they are known as “black bumper” Mennonites.