By Dan Dickson
Published September 01, 2017
Ohio’s Amish region, now the largest per capita community of Amish and Mennonite worshipers in America, wowed 300 delegates and guests with its authentic faith-driven hospitality August 22-24 during the 2017 Going On Faith Conference in Berlin, Ohio.
The state’s Amish region and its convention and visitors bureau, Ohio Amish Country, are centered in and around Holmes County in northeastern Ohio, and Amish volunteers were evident throughout the three-day event, assisting with ice cream-making, meal preparation, meal service and many other displays of support.
“What a genuine outpouring of graciousness and warmth we all felt,” said Going On Faith Conference CEO Joe Cappuzzello. “Speaking for all our delegates and staff, I cannot thank Ohio Amish Country and the entire region enough for all they did for us. It was a very special three days for everyone who attended.”
More than 140 faith-based travel planners from 23 states joined nearly 150 travel industry members from across the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and Poland for sales appointments over the three days. Ohio Amish Country provided a complimentary selection of locally produced cheeses, trail mixes and chocolates throughout the marketplace for all participants.
The conference’s daytime sessions and meals took place at the Grace Mennonite Church in Berlin, and the two evening events were held at the Amish Door Restaurant in Wilmot and the Amish Country Theater in Walnut Creek. Both venues sit high atop hills in the area’s picturesque countryside and offer expansive views of Amish farmland below.
Meal sponsors were the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce and its partners for the two evening events, the Globus Family of Brands and the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum for breakfasts, and MSC Cruises (USA) and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau for lunches. Little Rock, Arkansas, is the site of next year’s conference, which will take place August 7-9.
Many planners took part in preconference site inspection trips before arriving, and most delegates participated in local sightseeing tours that featured regional highlights, among them the Warther Museum, Lehman’s Hardware, Heini’s Cheese Chalet, Smucker’s and P. Graham Dunn.
For information on the 2018 Going On Faith Conference, visit www.gofconference.com.