David Garman

ESR class of ‘76

David Garman photo

After graduating from Kalamazoo College in 1968, I served as a VISTA Volunteer assigned to the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho. In correspondence with one of my college roommates, we began to discuss religion –he was a student at Colgate Rochester Divinity School– and seeds were planted.

While in Idaho, I decided to file for status as a Conscientious Objector to military service. After Mary and I were married, I moved back to Kalamazoo, MI, to do alternative service at Borgess Hospital. A cousin of mine was a member of the Kalamazoo Friends Meeting and encouraged me to explore living in the rental apartment at the Meetinghouse. As it turned out, the rental was not available, but the Resident Caretakers were leaving. Mary and I became Resident Friends, started attending Meetings for Worship and became Convinced Friends. Through the Quaker network, I learned about ESR. The seeds planted by those conversations with my college friend, Charlie Hartman, took root, and I became a student at ESR in 1973.

I graduated from ESR in 1976, and while a student, I worked as an assistant to Keith Esch –which included helping students find jobs and get settled in Richmond, some photography for ESR publications, and other fun things. My ministry project was serving as the Campus Ministry Intern at Earlham. Mary and I were Head Residents in Barrett Hall at Earlham during the 1976-77 years.

After Mary graduated in 1977, Mary and I moved to Indianapolis, where we served as Co-Pastors of Second Friends Church until 1982. With help from Western Yearly Meeting, we led a young adult program called “The Gathered,” which consisted of Quaker students, graduate students, and folks who had moved to Indy to work. The group also included some seekers, Church of the Brethren folks, and Mennonites from time to time. I served on the Urban Affairs Unit of the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis. Mary and I also worked with Metropolitan Indianapolis Campus Ministry.

In 1982 we moved back to Richmond for two years. I was the pastor of the Centerville Friends Church, which has since been closed. I had done a unit of CPE at Methodist Hospital while we lived in Indianapolis and did a second one at Reid Hospital (there was a Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Reid at that time).

Next, we moved to Evanston, IL, for Mary to do a Ph.D. at Northwestern. I did a residency in Pastoral Care at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and then worked as a staff chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for three years.

We moved back to Richmond when Mary joined the Religion Dept. at Earlham in 1988. I took a few months off to spend more time with our children, Sam and Kristy. In the summer of 1989, I was the interim pastor at Back Creek Friends Church and began working as the Hospice Chaplain at Reid Hospital. This was a part-time position that enabled me to be more help with childcare and running the household for a while. The job at Reid became full-time in1990 when serving as the Chaplain on the Psychiatric Services team was added to my job for several years. I then moved from psych services to Oncology Support Chaplain. I served as Hospice and Oncology Chaplain until I retired in 2011. During my Reid years, I became a Board-Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains. I also had the experience of being a Field Ed. Supervisor for several ESR students.

David Garman, ‘76