The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Coffee, not beer

Congregation turns tavern into gathering place

Noah's Ark Community Coffeehouse sits on the corner of West Seventh Street in Davenport, Iowa, in a neighborhood occupied by gangs and drug traffickers. As you enter The Ark, you can't help but notice the shiny oak floor, the chains of white lights hugging the arches above the bar, and Beanie Babies sitting "two-by-two" on the front window ledge. It's hard to imagine this coffeehouse was once a tavern, whose walls were stained and reeking from years of stale smoke, fried grease and the pungent odor of sour beer.

"Noah's Ark is the house that prayer built," says Julie Harkness, the manager and a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Davenport. "Because without prayer and faith, this would still be a run-down bar."

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February issue


Embracing diversity