Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I will try to answer some of your questions today.  Don't know if I will get through all of them or not.  If not, I will do another post.

Are their rules to become a Bishop?  Yes.  They must be baptized, married, being in good standing, and be raising their children in the way of the Lord. Now to get a little off here, if someone is Bishop and their wife dies - they don't have to marry again.  If they find the right person, they marry again, in fact most do.  But you don't have to. Only a man can be Bishop in our church.  Women can not be Bishops or Deacons or Ministers.

Does the Bishop have to be a certain age?  No.  Most Bishop's, that I know were in their 30's on up when they became Bishop.  I was in my 40's when I became Bishop.

Does the Bishop require special training?  I believe you mean like going to school, taking courses, etc.  No,  Although I do a lot of study of the Bible.  I try to get an hour or two every day, alone, in my office to read, study and pray.  This doesn't happen every day especially during planting and harvest season.  But I do try.  Emma and I also read the Bible and pray together. We also discuss Bible passages.

How is Bishop elected or chosen?  Our way is the same as when Bishop Joseph became Bishop.  We have a Bishop, deacons and our ministers there.  To start each person who is a baptized member of the church in good standing goes in the room and tells who they feel should be the Bishop. Men and women both do this.  When this is done, if there are more than 6 people chosen, the Bishop tells who the men are.  The Bishop usually has a time of prayer.  Then he asks the people to come through again and chose which of the ones they feel is chosen.  If they get done and there still are over six men, the people with the highest counts  go on to the next.

There are six Bibles.  In one of them, the Bishop puts a note with a Bible passage in it.  The six men are asked to come forward.  Usually they sit at a table in the front of room.  Bishop then mixes the Bibles, the deacons mix the Bibles and the Minister mix the Bibles.  Sometimes the Bishop mixes them one last time.  Then the Bibles are laid side by side on the table.  One by one the men chosen open the Bible.  If there is no Bible passenger, there are not Bishop.  The man that opens the Bible with the passage in it - is the Bishop.  We feel that God chose the person He wanted for Bishop.  I went through that - so I hope I put everything in there.

Do I perform marriages, yes I do.  Do I have to be licensed in the state?  I didn't really check into it.  When I became Bishop, I was given a beautiful certificate signed by the Bishop, deacons and ministers that took part.  Before I had to do my first marriage, I took it down to the county seat in Pennsylvania and they copied it.  When I came to New York, I did the same thing and they copied it.
Being Amish, I don't think I HAD to do that, but I did it so there wouldn't be any problems with the state or county.

I know there are more questions, but I think I end here for this post.  Will see if I can talk Emma into putting a post on here.

Honor the Lord,
Bishop Eli



Tom said...

A big responsibility!

Angela Tucker said...

Good morning, Marilyn. Very interesting. I appreciate all the time taken in answering our questions. I would love to hear from Emma, too. Have a good day!

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,
It sure is.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Angela,
Will see that Bishop Eli gets your message. I think Emma will be coming on, too.

Hope you have a good day, too,

Vickie said...

I find all of these things fascinating. Thank you Bishop Eli.
Thank you Marilyn. Hi Pierre! from your friends Mabel, Henry and Murphy

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,
I will thank Bishop Eli and see he gets your message.
You are most welcome.
Hi Mabel, Henry and Murphy from Pierre !!!

Marilyn and Pierre

Lily said...

I've read about some of this before, but it is so interesting hearing about it from the person's direct perspective. Neat!

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Lily,
Glad you liked it. Will see that Bishop Eli gets your message.


dynnamae n said...

I really enjoy the Bishop sharing more about his responsibilities in the church. I used to live near neighbors that are Mennonite. For awhile I attended their church and was there the day the husband was chosen to become a pastor, in the same method Bishop Eli was chosen. I do believe God is doing the choosing. Thank you Bishop for sharing and I know I would enjoy Emma writing too, if she felt lead to do so.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Eli, thank you very much for your post. We all appreciate you taking the time to tell us. Somehow, I pictured a bishop as being "old", not someone who might be in his 30s or 40s!!! What a tremendous responsibility, whatever the age.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bishop Eli, and thank you Marilyn.

kymber said...

Marilyn - please thank Bishop Eli for answering our questions so eloquently. he has a huge responsibility to his people and when Elmer and the others speak about him, they always sound like he is not only the Bishop but that he is a friend. it seems to me that they trust him but also really like and respect him - that is one tough job in my mind. and i hope to read something from Emma if she is willing.

as always, thank you for putting these posts up Marilyn. your friend,

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello Everyone,
I will see that Bishop Eli gets all your messages. I know he appreciates them.