Daniel Hoover group

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The Daniel Hoover group is descended from the Reidenbach Mennonitesoffsite.

The Reidenbachs, nicknamed the “Thirty-fivers” after the initial number of dissenters, split from the Groffdale Conferenceoffsite (Wenger Mennonite Church) in 1946 because they did not want their young men taking part in Civilian Public Service programs as an alternative to military duty.

Another major division took place in 1977 when a new generation of separatists renounced propane gas and motorized farm machinery.

The 15 or so Thirty-fiver splinters are clannish, family-sized units that embrace ancient Swiss and southern German Anabaptist traditions, according to “Horse-and-Buggy Mennonites,” a book by Kraybill and James P. Hurd.

The Daniel Hoover group formed in 2007 over a disagreement about biblical interpretation, according to information from the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College.

Observers said the group is likely heading to western Kentucky to get farther away from it all.
– Source: A sect pulls up stakes, Jon Rutter, Lancaster Online, Mar. 7, 2010

This group is in the news because three of its members have been arrested for concealing a 15-year-old girl who wanted to join their church.

The media has also referred to this group as the ‘Strict 35.’

The defendants’ congregation is known as the Daniel Hoover group, one of many latter-day spinoffs from the Old Order Groffdale Conference.

Donald B. Kraybill, a local expert on Plain culture, said he believes the church is a tiny sectarian community “that is not representative of most Old Order Mennonites.”

People who know the Hoovers and their friends describe them as good neighbors, but even more socially isolated and technologically backward than the better recognized Old Order Amish.

They drive horses and buggies and don’t use phones, petroleum fuels or motorized farm equipment.

“They’re people that live off the land,” said a Hoover neighbor who resides near Fivepointville.

“They have little insight” into the larger society and are likely shamed by the way their case has been portrayed in the media, added the neighbor, who asked that her name not be used. “They have their own little world.”
– Source: A sect pulls up stakes, Jon Rutter, Lancaster Online, Mar. 7, 2010

This post was last updated: Apr. 17, 2010