John Sharp is a recently retired historian who taught at Hesston (KS) College. He is a former director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives. John holds an M.Div. from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and has 15 years of experience as a pastor. John has been an instructor of Road Scholar (Elderhostel) courses on Amish life and culture and a frequent presenter for lifelong learning programs. Books include My Calling to Fulfill: The Orie O. Miller Story (Herald Press, 2015); and The Bible as Story: An Introduction to Biblical Literature (WorkPlay Publishing, 2017). Since 2000, he has led various TourMagination heritage tours to Western Europe, Prague and Poland, and Central Asia. He is married to Michele Miller Sharp, a former physician assistant in family practice and currently Compliance and Eligibility Officer at Hesston College. Their family includes two living daughters and four grandchildren. Recently, his storytelling has focused on the life and work of his son MJ, who in 2017 was abducted and murdered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while on a UN mission. As for travelling, John says there's nothing like hearing stories on-site. As always, I eagerly anticipate the stories, landscapes, and fellowship that await us!


2024 Discover Prague & the Mennonite Sojourn in Poland

LIMITED SPACE

This delightful tour combines sight-seeing in Eastern Europe with investigating the history of Mennonites in Poland. During a few days in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, marvel at colourful baroque buildings, Gothic churches, and the city’s famous Old Town Square. Also visit important sites in Krakow and Warsaw in Poland. Guided by Mennonite historian, John Sharp, learn more about the country that sheltered Dutch and German Mennonites beginning as early as the 1530’s right up to the Second World War. Some families stayed in the Vistula Delta of Poland for generations, later migrating to South Russia, Ukraine, and the American Midwest.

Celebrate 500: Classic Anabaptist European Tour

On this commemorative Anabaptist heritage tour in Europe, visit significant sites that will bring to life the stories of Menno Simons, Jacob Hutter, Pilgram Marpeck, Dirk Willems, Jakob Amman, and other important Anabaptist leaders. See the historic Dutch village of Zaanse Schans, take a cable car up Stockhorn mountain, reflect in a cave where Anabaptists worshipped in secret, and stay in the homes of hospitable locals in Menno Simons’ hometown, Witmarsum. Along the way, experience the cultural richness that the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Austria have to offer. Connect past to present by joining Anabaptists from around the world at a 500th anniversary celebration of the first adult baptisms in Zürich, organized by Mennonite World Conference. Experienced tour leader and former Hesston College Professor John Sharp will guide you on this journey of discovery and fellowship.

2025 Silk Road Odyssey: The Trek to Central Asia

In 1880-1881, five wagon trains of Mennonites left European Russia and headed east to Central Asia along the famous Silk Road. Seeking freedom from conscription and new economic opportunities, this group went east instead of west to North America as 18,000 did a decade earlier. In the last decade, new details of the Great Trek have emerged in the remarkable Silk Road cities of Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. Amidst the splendour of the Islamic architecture and often mountainous landscape, the Mennonite Great Trek story will emerge through journals and letters of trekkers, archival documents, and current reflections. Tour leader John Sharp is a retired college history and Bible professor whose passion for and knowledge of the Mennonite Great Trek along the Silk Road will give you valuable insight into this chapter of Mennonite history. John has led several tours to Central Asia and has developed relationships with locals who will give you insight into Uzbek life and culture.