Quaker History

How did the Quaker movement begin?

It began during a period of much religious upheaval in England during the mid-1600s, as people questioned the established church and sought new ways to understand Christianity. The emerging faith community gathered around the leadership of George Fox and others who encouraged people to be guided by a direct, firsthand encounter with the Spirit. These Quakers were seeking an authentic return to “primitive Christianity,” as practiced by the followers of Jesus in the first century. For more on early Quaker history, see the QuakerSpeak video below.

Why are you called “Quakers”?

The term “Quaker” arose as a popular nickname used to ridicule this new religious group when it emerged in seventeenth century England. Since the term was so widely recognized, members began using it informally, so people would know what they were talking about. Formally, we call ourselves the Religious Society of Friends.  Today, we use “Friend” and “Quaker” interchangeably


Do Quakers own Quaker Oats?

No. Quaker Oats is just a brand name for a cereal, like the motor oil and other products that carry the Quaker name.