The Religious Society of Friends arose in England during the middle of the seventeenth century, a time of scientific and political revolution when many people were passionately concerned about their relationship with God. Early Quakers were persecuted in both England and the colonies for their teachings about that of God in every person and the individual’s ability to have a direct relationship with God. Led by George Fox, who is often identified as the founder of Quakerism, Friends emphasized Christian action as an outward expression of their inner relationship with God. Growing out of this relationship were testimonies that further irritated the authorities, such as plain speech and dress, a refusal to take oaths, and opposition to all war. Four thousand Quakers were jailed during the first fifteen years of the Society’s existence.
Quakers arrived in several American colonies in the late 1600’s, including Pennsylvania, founded by the Quaker William Penn. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has existed since the early 1700’s. Today, Quakers can be found in over 60 countries around the world. Like many denominations, the Religious Society of Friends has undergone many changes and some divisions over the years, but the conviction that each individual carries that of God within has persisted.
The history of London Grove Meeting dates back to our founding in 1714, and we have been meeting in our current meetinghouse since 1818. Learn more about the history of London Grove Meeting.
To learn more about the history of the Religious Society of Friends, please explore the links below.
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice: Historical Background
QuakerSpeak videos, such as:
How Quakerism Began (transcript and more information is at https://quakerspeak.com/video/quakerism-began/ )
How Did Quakerism Come to North America? (transcript and more information is at https://quakerspeak.com/video/quakers-come-north-america/)
For history buffs, the Friends Historical Association, which publishes the journal Quaker History