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John A. Hostetler, a renowned sociologist and scholar of the Amish who grew up in the Big Valley, called this area “one of the most diverse expressions of Anabaptist-Mennonite culture anywhere in North America.” This region, approximately thirty miles long and four miles wide, is home to no less than twelve different Amish and Mennonite groups—all of which are derived from one original Amish settlement. These groups range from some of the most integrated and liberal Mennonites to arguably the most conservative Old Order Amish sects in North America.

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