The Society of Friends has its roots in the teachings of Jesus. We were founded in England during the turbulent years of the 17th century. George Fox is considered an early founder of the Friends Movement. His personality and enthusiasm made him a powerful preacher, pastor, and healer. He refused to be intimidated, and his courage and physical stamina gave credibility to a central theme of his preaching: the power through Christ to live a holy life. He initiated a major Christian awakening in England that spread to the American colonies. He also established a rich system of record-keeping that continues to this day.
Friends had suffered greatly in early England. As religious dissenters of the Church of England, they were regular targets for prosecutions. Friends beliefs were considered radical, such as the idea that women and men were spiritual equals and that there were no official ministers or religious rituals. They opted not to use titles such as "Your Lordship" and "My Lady." Thousands of friends had suffered decades of whippings, torture, imprisonment, and death.
Friends immigrated to the American colonies in part because of the persecution they faced in England. In America, Friends were persecuted and forbidden to worship freely. Friends became early advocates for the religious freedoms that were to be embedded in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Friends were also distinguished in the development of social and economic ideals significant to our country's beginnings. The early friends' social inventions, such as economic development, banking, insurance, and fixed prices for commodities, were among those established. Their practices in social justice and human rights, including the right to religious freedom, native Americans' rights, women's voting rights, and condemnation of slaveholding, were among the exemplary ideals they embraced.
Friends believe that all people are capable of directly experiencing the divine nature of the universe, and that God continues to reveal these divine principles to humanity
Friends join together with others to create a society whose goals are to achieve a balance between freedom, peace, equality, and integrity. Together, we share our experiences and resources to better understand and guide us toward a better planet.