This post is taken from a press release of the Elkhart Country Historical Museum (Ind.). Next Friday, April 25, John Kampen will share about the Partly Dave Coffee House, which is an exhibit at the museum currently. Mennonite Church USA Archivist, Colleen McFarland, helped to create the exhibit. In addition to the biographical information shared below, John Kampen served on the Racial Healing Task Group of MC USA from the spring of 2010 to the summer of 2011, and is a member at Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship.
by Elkhart County Historical Museum staff
On April 25, at 7PM the Elkhart County Historical Museum will host a special presentation by the distinguished scholar John Kampen who will speak about his time as the manager of the Partly Dave Coffee House in Elkhart between 1968 and 1971. This program is held in conjunction with the Museum’s ongoing temporary exhibit, For Love, For Friends, For Questions: Elkhart’s Partly Dave Coffee House, 1966-1975. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to view the exhibit.
According to Kampen, “Each of the three locations in which Partly Dave was housed had its own distinctive ethos, emphasis, and programs. Volunteers, patrons, residential staff, and managers reflected a great diversity of interests with an equally broad spectrum of motivations for attendance and involvement.”
Kampen’s presentation will attempt to outline some of the multiple viewpoints about Partly Dave Coffee House that would have been held by different groups of persons associated with this unique establishment. In so doing, he will also talk about what he understands to be some of the central values that held the coffee house together and how they contributed to its unique impact then, and perhaps now.
“We are extremely excited that Dr. Kampen has been willing to return to the area and speak about his time at the coffee house,” said Museum Manager Matthew Schuld. “Because of the multitude of different services the coffee house provided, the exhibit has tapped into a wide range of memories held by the community on what the role of Partly Dave was in downtown Elkhart. We are looking forward to hearing Dr. Kampen’s insights and memories of this important time in Elkhart’s recent history.”
Kampen holds a degree from the University of Saskatchewan (BA in sociology), the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (MDiv), and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (PhD). He is an internationally recognized authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls and has authored or edited five books and numerous research articles. His most recent book, published in 2011, is a commentary on the Wisdom Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
He served as Dean and Professor of New Testament at Payne Theological Seminary (Wilberforce, Ohio) from 1984-1997. For his instrumental role in the development of this school as a major institution for the African Methodist Episcopal Church, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He is now the Van Bogard Dunn Professor of Biblical Interpretation at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He is ordained in the Mennonite church. While a student at the seminary, he was manager of Partly Dave Coffeehouse from 1968-1971 and lived above it on Main Street in downtown Elkhart.
The event was made possible with the support of the Electric Brew in Goshen. The Museum will provide free coffee and light snacks before and after the event. The event will be held in the Museum’s Community Building, and visitors should enter through the main museum entrance. The museum is located at 304 W. Vistula (SR 120), Bristol, Indiana.