Heritage & History
The roots of the Friends Church reach back to 17th century England and the prophetic ministry of George Fox, a man who came to realize that “There is One, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.” Fox proceeded to preach this good news throughout England and beyond, calling on people to surpass empty religious formalism and be touched by the living Christ.
Fox and his followers became known as Friends, taking their name from Jesus’ own words in John 15:14: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” They also took the name Quakers, a term originally intended as an insult that was embraced and worn with pride by all who “quaked with the power of God.” Throughout our history, Friends have made great contributions to the spiritual and social needs of those around them, taking the lead in securing prison reforms, religious freedom, Christian education, the abolition of slavery, and care for the suffering.
West Park Friends Church is one of over 1,100 Evangelical Friends Churches around the world. There are approximately 140,000 Friends who are a part of those churches, which gather in 24 different countries. West Park Friends is a part of the Evangelical Friends Church – Eastern Region, which is comprised of over 90 churches throughout Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Canada.