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The Inspirationalists (also known as The Community of True Inspiration and the Amana Church Society) were a group of Germans, Swiss and Austrians from a number of backgrounds and socioeconomic areas who settled in West Seneca, New York, after purchasing land from an Indian reservation. They later moved to Amana, Iowa, when they became dissatisfied with the congestion of Erie County and the growth of Buffalo, New York.

Known first in Western New York as the Ebenezer Society, it was a religious group that ultimately traced its roots to Hesse in Germany. The movement became popular in the early nineteenth century as one of the many protests against the Lutheran Church. The founders of The Community of True Inspiration are said to be Eberhard Ludwig Gruber and Johann Friedrich Rock. Their religious practices, including avoidance of military service and refusal to take an oath, kept them in conflict with German authorities. Their religion continued to grow until Gruber and Rock's deaths, but subsequently declined until a reawakening sparked by Michael Krausert, who preached for a revival and had much support.[1]

Their beginning in the United States was in West Seneca and the Town of Elma. Ultimately, a number of communities, Amana Colonies, were founded in Iowa. Official membership was 1,534 in 1925, and was more than a thousand as late as the 1980s.[2]

The Community of True Inspiration Residence was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.[3]

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ Shambaugh, Bertha. Amana That Was and Amana That Is. Iowa City: The State Historical Society of Iowa, 1932.
  2. ^ – Data from the National Council of Churches' Historic Archive.
  3. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 6/24/13 through 6/28/13. National Park Service. 2013-07-05. 


Further reading[edit]

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