A Compact History of our Faith
The Religious Society of Friends arose during the mid-1600’s in England. George Fox and Margaret Fell, among others, were Seekers of Truth attempting to recover the spirit of early Christianity. They founded the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has been in continuous existence in North America since the early 1700’s.
Early Quakers believed that the Inner Light in each person provides direct access to God without intermediaries or literal readings of Scripture. Waiting in expectant silence, early Friends were inspired by that still, small voice of God to minister to each other and to work for justice, equality and peace. The movement spread to many other countries, including the United States, where Quaker William Penn founded the Pennsylvania colony. The rest was history. And even though Quaker membership is small compared to mainstream Protestant churches, Quaker influence is felt every day in all walks of life both in the United States and worldwide.