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Sharp to speak on Orie Miller's broad influence on Mennonite institutions

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Local author John Sharp will give the next Friends of the MLA presentation, Nov. 24 at Bethel College.

Sharp teaches in the history and Bible and ministry departments at Hesston College. He will speak about his book My Calling to Fulfill: The Orie O. Miller Story, published by Herald Press in 2015.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Kauffman Museum (note the change of location from past lectures) and is free and open to the public.

Orie O. Miller lived from 1892–1977, a life span that also paralleled the institutional development of the Mennonite Church (a denomination that became part of what is now Mennonite Church USA).

Miller played a significant role in starting a number of Mennonite institutions and programs, including Eastern Mennonite Missions, based in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and Civilian Public Service (CPS), the alternative service program for American conscientious objectors during World War II.

He assisted in the growth and development of others, such as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and the Mennonite colleges.

Sharp has taught at Hesston College since 2005. Before that, he was director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives in Goshen, Indiana, for 10 years. Sharp is also the author of Hesston College’s centennial history, A School on the Prairie, published in 2009.

The Mennonite Library and Archives (MLA) at Bethel sponsors these periodic presentations on topics related to Mennonite history and thought.

For directions or more information on the Friends of the MLA or the Nov. 24 program, call 316-284-5360.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015-16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.