Leadership Among Friends

Leadership and Clergy: Early Quaker Movement, American Transition, and Today

Brad Tricola, Boise Friends, Idaho – 2009

Throughout Quaker history, Friends have sought to maintain a distinct expression of faith whilst also partnering in transformational ministry. George Fox, the prophet, mystic, reformer, and founder of the Quaker movement, railed against the institutional religious systems of his day. Through the first two centuries of history, Quakers maintained a unique expression of spirituality that included unprogrammed meetings and unpaid ministers. However, during the American transition, some branches of Friends became more ecumenical. The Gurneyite branch allowed for local paid ministers and began a trend that eventually led to programmed meetings that looked almost identical to other protestant church meetings. The aim of this paper is to look at leadership and clergy in the early Quaker movement and the American transition, and how it is expressed in the Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) of today.

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