National Yoder Reunion in Shipshewana Sept 20-23


Former Steffisburg, Switzerland official Hans Jakob Joder and his son Andreas, a prominent engineer, will be featured at the 2017 National Yoder Reunion (20-23 Sept), in Shipshewana, IN. Steffisburg, where Joders have lived for more than half a millennium, is the origin point for all American Yoders. The Joders will talk about the “Joder- Steffisburg Connection” using many photographs and illustrations from the town.

The first of the Anabaptist Yoders to come to America, Mennonite “Hans Yoder of Great Swamp”, is thought to have arrived with other members of his congregation in August of 1717. This reunion is therefore a “celebration of 300 years of Anabaptist Yoders in America”, so the Anabaptist branches of the family, and Anabaptist traditions and culture will be a focus of the event. Shipshewana, Indiana is a key tourist area in the heart of northern Indiana’s “Amish Country”.

Another confirmed speaker is Mr. Joe Springer, curator of the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College since 1986. Mr. Springer will give an outline of Anabaptist history, with emphasis on the Swiss Anabaptists and the formation of the Amish. He recently published a two volume Montbéliard Mennonite Church Register, 1750-1958: A Sourcebook for Amish Mennonite History and Genealogy, a work which will certainly become a classic reference on the Amish Mennonites in Alsace. He will detail his findings on the different Yoder family branches who lived there from the late 1600s, many of whom immigrated to the United States in the 19th century.

Local Amish historian Floyd Miller, librarian of the Northern Indiana Amish Library, will tell about the first Amish settlers to northern Indiana, which include members of the Yoder family.

Chris Yoder, Editor of the Yoder Newsletter since 1983, will provide an overview of the various Yoder branches in America, and will also discuss the results of the Yoder DNA study and what over 100 tests have revealed about the family connections.

Past National Reunions since 1983 have all been held in the Eastern part of the country, in: Pleasantville, PA; Newton, NC; or Grantsville, MD. The Shipshewana reunion will be the first one to be held in the Midwest since the founding of the Yoder Newsletter ( .

Activities will center around the Blue Gate Garden Inn and the Shipshewana Event Center. Major local features we plan to take advantage of include: the Menno-Hof Amish/Mennonite history museum, buggy rides, Amish Home Dinners, Amish and Mennonite singers, the 50th Annual Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, and much more.

For more program and registration details contact Chris Yoder, or call him at 616-212-3443.


Registration Flier

Special exhibit on the Partly Dave Coffee House, Elkhart County Historical Museum

Through September 2014 – A special exhibit on the Partly Dave Coffee House in Elkhart, which lasted from 1966-75.and was intended to serve disaffected young people during the VietNam War era.  It was sponsored by an interdenominational group in Elkhart and heavily supported and staffed by students and faculty from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.  At the Elkhart County Historical Museum in Bristol, M-Sat. 9 – 5 p.m.  Free admission.