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Mose J Gingerich (born July 27, 1979) is an Amish-born documentary-maker. He was born in an Old Order Amish community in Greenwood, Wisconsin, the 9th of 13 children. He was raised on a 255 acre farm and at a very young age started working in the Fields and Sawmill. He developed a love for reading as an escape from reality. Books like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Little Men, Little Women, Big Smoke Mountain, and Heidi had an influence in his early childhood years.
In his early teens, Gingerich started becoming ever more restless while living among the Amish. He began trying to find a way to some day escape into the world outside. During these years he lived in 6 different Amish communities throughout the Mid Western states, trying to find some answers. Gingerich taught all 8 grades in a one room schoolhouse for 4 years between Wisconsin and Kansas. He made several attempts to leave the Amish community, but the transition was just too much. Often questioning the Amish way of life, whether there was more to religion than just the man-made Amish tradition that was all he had ever known.
Excommunication by the Amish
Finally on July 3, 2002, after Gingerich finished his fourth year of teaching, he left the Amish and the only way of life he had ever known. Making a decision to leave the Amish culture is very rare and frowned upon within the community, often resulting in excommunication. Gingerich was banned from further contact with his family and community.
Current Personal Status
Gingerich has lived in the Columbia, Mo area ever since. He owned and operated his own construction company, Gingerich Home Improvement, until 2010. In the fall of 2010, due to health reasons, (after several heat strokes) Gingerich had to get out of construction work for good. Today he is a successful sales representative at Joe Machens Toyota in Columbia, Mo.
In 2005, Mose married Shana Sue Gingerich, they have 3 children.
Television Show Amish in the City
In 2004, 1 1/2 years after Gingerich left the Amish, he got an opportunity to be on the hit reality show "Amish in the City", televised on UPN and produced by Jon Kroll, Daniel Soiseth, and Daniel Laikind. The show featured six city kids and five ex-Amish kids trying to co-exist in a mansion in the middle of the Hollywood hills. There were 10 episodes that ran for an entire season. It was the first major television project ever done with actual Amish people. Mose made appearances on several late night shows to help promote "Amish in the City", including Jimmy Kimmel, Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, Good Day Live, and numerous radio shows.
Amish at the Altar / Amish: Out of Order
In 2009 and 2010, Gingerich shot and produced two documentaries with Stick Figure Productions. Both were aired by the National Geographic Channel: "Amish at the Altar" and "Amish Out of the Order". Amish at the Altar featured Eli and Mary Gingerich, a couple who had been married Amish but chose to leave, renewing their wedding vows in the outside world. Amish Out of the Order featured Mose, a group of his close Ex Amish friends, and the life they are now leading in Columbia, Mo. The focus of the film was Mose's place as a leader within the ex Amish community; he often helped the kids with housing, cars, driver's licenses, and jobs.
In 2011 & 2012 Stick Figure Productions and Mose teamed up to do "Amish: Out of Order", a 10-part documentary series on The National Geographic Channel. "Amish: Out of Order" was probably the documentary Mose will always be best known for, since it came out at the peak of Amish television. Amish: out of Order launched the frenzy that is now Amish film and literature. It was followed closely by other shows like "Amish Mafia", and "Breaking Amish".
- "Amish in the City Mose".
- "Columbia man opens up about his Amish past". Columbia Tribune.
- "Gingerich Construction".
- "Mose Knows Autos".
- Rhodes, Robert (August 9, 2004). "Good reviews, skepticism greet debut of Amish show". Mennonite Weekly Review.
- "10 Things You Didn't Know about NBC's The Office". Evening Tribune.
- "Amish at the Alter".
- "Amish: Out of Order".
- Personal Website: www.amishinthecitymose.com