Skip to Main Content

Friends Library at Malone University: History

The Friends Library houses a diverse collection of Quaker writings ranging from the historical to the contemporary. It includes Yearly Meeting Minutes, genealogical information, periodicals, reports, and books.


The Friends Library holds books from the 1600s to the present. Examples of some titles that reflect the history of Quakers and Quaker traditions are listed below.

More in-depth research may include resources that are kept in the EFC-ER Historical Archives collections. See the Malone University Archives guide for more detailed information.

Finding Aids for some of the archival collections are available through the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository .


A Brief History of EFC-ER

The Society of Friends (AKA Quakers)

Founded by George Fox (1624-1691). He began to preach in 1647.

1652 = George Fox’s vision on Pendle Hill

George’s wife Margaret Fell (1614 – 1702), “Mother of Quakerism,” was also a strong witness for the new society.

Originally called Children of the Light, they were later known as The Society of Friends or Quakers.

1668 = The first organized Yearly Meeting was London Yearly meeting

1600s = Quakerism moved to the New World in the late 1600s. Quakers were persecuted but their numbers grew, especially in Rhode Island (1st established Meeting) and later in Pennsylvania (founded by Quaker William Penn in 1681) and beyond.

The belief in the equality of all people in God’s eyes led Quakers to be heavily involved in the abolition of slavery, in advocating for just dealings with Native Americans, and in supporting and leading women’s rights efforts.

Quakers in Ohio [follow the bold print for direct history of EFC-ER]

1795 = 1st Quaker arrived in Ohio = George Harlan

1800 = 2 preparatory meetings were established

1812 = Ohio Yearly Meeting (OYM) was established by the Baltimore Yearly Meeting

1813 = First Ohio Yearly Meeting; 1st YM house was in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio (the building was completed in 1814)

1827-1828 = “The Great Separation”



Led primarily by inner light: Elias Hicks

Led primarily by Scriptural authority

1854 = Gurneyite/Wilburite split

Gurneyite AKA Progressive

Wilburite AKA Conservative

Orthodox, evangelical: Joseph John Gurney came to US from England to support Elisha Bates (water baptism, didn’t completely agree with founders) and traveled to various meetings:

Primitive (i.e. follow the teachings of the founders), John Wilbur from RI was big proponent

1887 = OYM sent Esther Butler as a missionary to China

1892 = Emma and Walter Malone founded the Bible Institute for Christian Workers (6 students) in Cleveland which eventually became Malone University

1896 = Esther Baird and Delia Fistler start OYM mission in India

1917 = Ohio Yearly Meeting evangelicals (Gurneyites) moved their headquarters and YM house to Damascus, Ohio and became Ohio Yearly Meeting (Damascus)

1957 = Malone College moved from Cleveland to Canton

1965 = OYM (Damascus) joined the Evangelical Friends Alliance and moved their YM to Canton, Ohio

1971 = OYM (Damascus) became Evangelical Friends Church – Eastern Region (EFC-ER). “Meetings” started to be known as “churches” instead. Quarterly meetings became “Districts”

2016 = EFC-ER Yearly Meeting structure was changed. District Meetings were discontinued.

EFC-ER History



Ohio Yearly Meeting

1813 - 1827

Mt. Pleasant

Ohio Yearly Meeting


1869-1917 alternating Mt. Pleasant/Damascus

Ohio Yearly Meeting (Damascus) to distinguish it from OYM (Conservative)

1917 - 1964


Ohio Yearly Meeting (Damascus)

1965 – 1971

Canton (YM held at Malone College)

Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region (EFC-ER)

1972 – to date