Catholic and Mennonite worlds collide on YouTube

Essence of Anabaptism

May 16, 2024 | News | Volume 28 Issue 7
Aaron Epp |
Kristen and Scott Hertzog started their YouTube channel in 2022. Photo by Dale Ebersole.

What happens when an Italian American actress and model from Edison, New Jersey marries a Mennonite farm boy from Lancaster, Pennsylvania?


Kristen and Scott Hertzog answer that question on their YouTube channel, “So I Married a Mennonite.”


The Hertzogs, who married in 1996 and who attend Forest Hill Mennonite Church—a Mennonite Church USA congregation near Lancaster—started the channel in 2022 to uplift, educate and entertain viewers.


In the videos, Kristen draws from her experiences to share the joys and challenges of being part of the Mennonite culture in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. She explores the struggles she’s faced being an outsider and how she’s become a part of the community despite those struggles.


The Hertzogs’ story has been one of opposites attracting ever since they met at Sight & Sound Theatres, a Christian theatre company in Lancaster.


Kristen was onstage playing a queen; Scott worked in the husbandry department, helping care for the 100-plus animals involved in the company’s productions.


They struck up a conversation backstage, and Kristen asked Scott out on a date. After thinking about it for a couple of days—he was shocked because he had never heard of a woman asking a man out—he said yes.


A year later, they were married. 


“There were quite a few people who were concerned about the cultural differences as well as the personality differences,” Kristen says.


Kristen describes her family as stereotypically Italian American — forthright, passionate and quick to crack a bottle of wine.


Her family was surprised, then, when they showed up in Pennsylvania for a wedding with no alcohol, no dancing, a dress code for the bridesmaids and a rehearsal dinner held in a church basement instead of an upscale restaurant.


“It’s been a lifetime of challenges and figuring out how to make it work,” Kristen says.


But the Hertzogs’ commitment to each other, and their love for their 17-year-old son, Kiefer, is evident in the videos they make.


In addition to giving viewers a glimpse into Mennonite and Amish life in Pennsylvania, the Hertzogs share about their travels, Kristen’s struggle with ADHD, and their decision in late 2023 to sell the Hertzog Homestead—a farm that was in Scott’s family for eight generations.


When asked what makes Mennonites unique, Kristen responds that in her experience, it’s quality craftsmanship, a strong work ethic and a willingness to come together to support a worthy cause. 


She sees evidence of this in the way her community helps with the Hope for Haiti Benefit Auction, which she started in 2013.


The auction, which raises funds for educational and Christian training programs in Haiti, typically draws a crowd of 1,800.


More than 125 volunteers— including folks from Mennonite Church USA, Old Order Mennonites and Amish folks—are on hand to ensure things run smoothly.


“What’s interesting about it is the consistency,” Kristen says. “So many Mennonite and Amish people have been with us since day one. I absolutely admire that. That is a very strong thing.”


Kristen believes that ultimately, the videos she and Scott create speak to how ingrained the Roman Catholic and Mennonite cultures are when your families have been a part of them for generations.


“So much of what is unique about what we’re doing in our YouTube channel we didn’t make up,” she says.


“We’re talking about hundreds of years of experiences that bring us to these times and bring us to our own unique experiences.”


To view the couple's channel, visit

Kristen and Scott Hertzog started their YouTube channel in 2022. Photo by Dale Ebersole.

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