The Friends Church began more than three hundred years ago in England under
the leadership of George Fox, a man who experienced a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ and spent his life sharing this experience with others. Those
early Friends made great contributions to the spiritual and social needs of their
country, taking the lead in securing prison reforms, religious liberty, Christian
education, and care for the suffering.
Before long the Friends (also called Quakers) began coming to the New World
among many other colonists, and soon there were thousands of Friends in
America. In 1681 the colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a
prominent English Quaker, as a refuge from persecution for fellow Quakers.
As other Americans moved west, so did the Friends, taking their faith with them.
Among the first priorities for these pioneers was the establishment of a group
for worship and a meeting house in which to conduct such worship. By 1812
Friends in Ohio had united to form Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends. They held
their annual meetings in the Mt. Pleasant Yearly Meeting House for many years.
Later Damascus became the headquarters and place of meeting. Since 1965
the church has held its annual session in Canton.
In 1971 the name, Ohio Yearly Meeting, was changed. Now known as the
Evangelical Friends Church - Eastern Region (EFC-ER), it participates actively in
a larger group of Friends worldwide, Evangelical Friends International-North
The name "Friends" comes from Jesus' words
in John 15:12-15:
"You are my friends if you do whatever I
The name Quaker, originally an insult, became
a symbol of integrity as Quakers were known
-Support for religious and political freedom
(including women ministers)
-Opposition to slavery
-Honesty in business
Humane treatment of criminals & compassion
for the mentally ill
Opposition to war, but aid to war victims and
others in distress.
Ypsilanti Evangelical Friends Church