Mose J Gingerich was born into an Old Order Amish community in Greenwood, Wisconsin on July 27, 1979. He is the ninth of thirteen children. Mose was raised on a 255 acre farm, and as early as six years old, was expected to work in the fields and in the family sawmill.
At a young age, Mose discovered a love for reading. Mose has often said that reading helped him escape from the reality that was the grueling manual labor expected on the farm. "For that brief time, when one's nose is buried between the covers of a well-written novel, Tom Sawyer, Big Smoke Mountain, or Laura Ingalls Wilder, one can almost become one of the characters, instead of breathing the dust created by so many horses pulling plows."
It was during these years that Mose began to question his commitment to the Amish way of life. By the time he entered his teens, searching for a way out had become a daily, yet secret dream. Secret, because leaving the Amish faith is a highly controversial and would mean rejection and shunning by the community and even his family. The Amish belief being that anyone born of the Amish faith must remain so forever.
At sixteen, Mose decided to pursue his dreams anyway. But like so many others who chose the same path, acclimating into the outside world was more difficult than expected. After only four miserable months, Mose, dejected and homesick, decided to try the simple life again. He would re-commit himself to the life everyone within the community had always wanted for him.
A month after returning, Mose was asked to teach school. Ready to escape the fields and sawmill, he readily accepted, and for four years, taught school in a one-room schoolhouse, teaching all eight grades, usually with a total of between thirty and forty students.
A year after returning, Mose was baptized and became a member of the church, and for the next five years, at least on the surface, he lived the life the church required. Beneath the surface however, he wrestled with regret and misery. Those five years were spent living a double life. One part was a life where outwardly he faked happiness, but never felt like he belonged. Years later, Mose would say that there was never a single day where he truly felt happy in the community. "My worst day of freedom is still better than my best day in captivity."
In 2002, at 22, Mose finally left the Amish for good. Unlike the first time, when he had moved in with an English farmer in Wisconsin, this time Mose moved to Columbia, Missouri. There, a number of other ex-Amish had already begun their own community in the outside world.
A month after leaving the Amish, Mose met his future wife. They were married in 2005, and today live in mid-Missouri, where they raise their three children.
For the first eight years, Mose worked in construction. The last six if these he owned his own construction company and often employed other ex-Amish kids who had recently left the community.
During his time in construction, Mose was approached by several film production companies searching for newly-escaped ex-Amish to participate in television shows. The first of these shows was Amish in the City, airing on UPN in 2004. With a cast of five ex-Amish kids and six city kids, Mose agreed to travel to Hollywood and live in a mansion in the Hollywood hills. That ten-part reality show, and others that came after, can be seen in Mose's video gallery on this website.
Other documentaries Mose produced and starred in were a stand-alone documentary titled Amish at the Altar, 2008, and a stand-alone titled Amish out of the Order, 2008.
And finally, in 2012, a single 10-episode season of a television show called Amish: out of Order, televised on The National Geographic Channel. These documentaries largely focus on newly-escaped ex-Amish youth, and Mose's role in helping them acclimate into the outside world.
In 2010, following a second heat stroke, Mose was forced to make a career change. With only an eighth grade education the options were limited. Mose turned to sales, and for the next six years sold automobiles for Joe Machens Toyota in Columbia, Missouri. In the documentary television shows Mose starred in, one can often catch glimpses into his life in construction and also in car sales.
In 2015 Joe Machens Toyota sold out to an out-of-state company, and Mose once again decided to change careers. This time he chose a job as an over-the-road truck driver. In the first five years as a trucker, he has been in all immediate forty-eight states.
While trucking isn't the dream life I thought I would enjoy once I finally made it out of the community, it has served to further several key goals in my life: The first; reduce the amount of constant stress I was under while in sales. The second; after several decades devoid from reading, I have found a career that allows me to once again, read. Unlike when I was Amish however, I can now listen to audiobooks, which has allowed me to churn through an average of over one-hundred books per year. I read anything I can get my hands on, and through literature, I have discovered worlds and universes I would never have found had I remained in construction or car sales. Or Amish.
The results were immediate and, perhaps to some, obvious. I had to pursue my true passion. Although I have loosely and inconsistently blogged on this website, I have never thought of myself as a writer. I blog as a hobby, and I blog when I feel like I have something new I want to share, but now, I would try my hand at writing an entire fiction novel. I would on what I know best; the world I came from. And I would publish it for the world to read. If readers liked what I had to say, I would write a second novel. Heck, I might write a second one, even if nobody liked the first one.
The process has been long and challenging, but once my first novel is published, you can bet I will post a blog about it. I expect this dream to be realized in early to mid-2021.
The Caroline Creek Series—
Book One: Shadows We Remain, 2021
Book Two: Caroline Creek Chaos, 2022