who we are
our position on current issues
What we believe
Penn Friends Community Church is a theologically conservative church in the Friends/Quaker tradition. Penn Friends was originally connected to Indiana Yearly Meeting for many years, but its affiliation with IYM came to an end in July of 2013. Penn is now affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church–Eastern Region that is headquartered in Canton, Ohio. For more information about EFC–ER please see their website: http://www.efcer.org/
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. The Christian movement that followed took the name “Friends” from Jesus’ words “You are my friends if you do whatever I command” (John 15:14).
The word “Quaker” was first used in 1650, when George Fox was brought before magistrates, Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious blasphemy. According to George Fox’s autobiography, Bennet “was the first person that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble [quake] at the word of the Lord.” Thus, the name “Quaker” began as a way of ridiculing George Fox’s admonition, but became widely accepted by those in this Christian movement.
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 caring for the poor and suffering.
Please click on the PDF to see the Faith and Practice of the Evangelical Friends Church–Eastern Region to find out what we believe.
Since people looking for a new church are generally interested on where a church stands on current issues facing the church today, we thought it might be helpful to provide the sections in the EFC–ER Faith and Practice which explain our position on these very issues. Please click on the PDF below.
Before long the Friends 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 America (EFI-NA).