Paul Stutzman was born in Holmes County, Ohio, in an Amish family. His family left the Amish lifestyle soon after Paul was born and joined a strict Conservative Mennonite church where Paul was raised to fear God and obey all the rules the church demanded. Paul joined another Mennonite church and marrying, working, and raising his family in the same Amish/Mennonite community of his birth.
After Paul lost his wife to cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart—the call of a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, he left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the 2,176-mile Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life. After completing his trek, Paul wrote Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail.
In the summer of 2010, he again heeded the call to adventure and pedaled his bicycle 5,000 miles across America. He began his ride at the northwest corner of Washington State and pedaled to Key West, Florida. On his journey across America, he encountered people in all circumstances, from homelessness to rich abundance. The people he met touched his life profoundly. Those encounters we recorded in his book Biking Across America: My Coast-to-Coast Adventure and the People I Met Along the Way.
Two more adventures were detailed in Stuck in the Weeds, his book about a kayak adventure on the Mississippi River and, later, his hike across Spain on a famous Catholic pilgrimage trail known as the Camino de Santiago. The two adventures have since been published as separate volumes, Mississippi Misadventure and Pilgrims: On the Camino de Santiago.
His most recent hike was backpacking in Israel, following the “Jesus trail.” The story was published first as The 13th Disciple and recently under the title Hiking Israel.
Paul has also authored three books of Amish fiction, a series entitled The Wandering Home series. The books follow the journey of a young Amish boy growing up in a culture he is not sure he wants to embrace. A young Amish girl named Annie wins his heart, and life is great—for a time. Entwined with their love story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.
Love stories are also the theme of Paul’s book Don’t Wait Too Long, his very personal account of two loves in his life. A sequel to the heartbreak of one of those love stories is The Miracle Journey: Guideposts to Restoration After Heartbreak and Loss. Both volumes rest on faith as the foundation of life.
His latest challenge (in 2021) was the adventure of writing a children’s book, The Cloud Factory. A second Cloud Factory book is in the works, along with an adventure novel and a devotional for men.
In addition to writing, Paul speaks to groups about his hiking and biking experiences and the lessons learned during these adventures. He resides in Berlin, Ohio, and can be contacted through his website at www.paulstutzman.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pvstutzman.