The Reformed Mennonite Church had its beginnings in 1812. John Herr (1781-1850) believed he received a vision in which Christ told him to organize a new church because the Mennonite Church was departing from the teaching of Menno Simons. At first his followers were called New Mennonites; later they chose the title Reformed Mennonites.
Herr traveled by horseback from Strasburg in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to surrounding communities and counties in Pennsylvania, as far west as Illinois and north into New York and Ontario. At one time there were almost 3,000 members in about 30 congregations in Ontario and eight states. Today there are less than 300 members in four states with eight congregations.
Several major divisions have taken place within the group. In 1917 John Miller a minister in the Reformed Church in Huron County, Ohio, left the group over the conducting of funerals in cooperation with non-Reformed Mennonite ministers.
In 1975 Minister Willis Weaver from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was expelled for criticism of the Reformed leaders. With a few followers he organized the United Mennonite Church which today worships in the homes of about one dozen members. The male members are identified by their plain coats, small bow ties and derby-style hats. Women wear full bonnets, shawls, and long cape dresses with matching aprons in various shades of gray.