Hamilton Areas of Study
The earliest vegetarian restaurants in the United States were not from the hippie counterculture, as one might assume, but instead sponsored by Christian sects dating back to the nineteenth century. Michigan was home to a quite few of these Christian vegetarian groups. When Mary and Benjamin Purnell left Detroit for Benton Harbor, Michigan, with their House of David community in 1903, they continued the teachings of the earlier messengers, but also expanded the message to make it their own. One was the expectation that members of the Ingathering would be vegetarian. This study will analyze the history and theological understanding of vegetarianism for this Christian communal group from data collected through archival studies and oral history interviews.