Quaker Organization

Quaker Organization

Monthly Meetings

Local Meetings are called Monthly Meetings because they meet for business once a month. There are local Meetings that are under the care of Monthly Meetings and these are generally referred to as Worship Groups.

Most Monthly* Quaker Meetings are members of Yearly Meetings and those Yearly Meetings are associated with one of the Quaker umbrella organizations. For example, Birmingham Friends (monthly) Meeting is part of the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting & Association (SAYMA) which is associated with Friends General Conference (FGC) while Chatham Friends Meeting in Snow Camp N.C. is part of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting which is associated with Friends United Meeting (FUM).

Umbrella Organizations

As with other denominations, there have been disagreements that lead to splits in the organization. As a result, there are three Quaker umbrella organizations.

  • FUM: Friends United Meaning
  • FGC: Friends General Conference
  • EFCI: Evangelical Friends Church International
Although Friends agree on the basic premise that "there is that of God in everyone," they do differ on how they conduct their worship services and the acceptance of traditional Christian theology. FUM and FGC are united in their opposition to war and in their support of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). I know very little about EFCI and their positions regarding war or their support for the above mentioned wider Quaker organizations.

The FGC Meetings are usually unprogrammed  or semi-programmed meetings.  In an unprogrammed meeting there is silent worship but if anyone is lead to speak out of the  silence they do so. In addition to meeting for worship, there is often a regularly scheduled discussion time on a variety of topics.

Most FUM Meetings are more traditional in their beliefs and worship: they generally have a church service with  a shorter (20 minute) period of silent worship, paid clergy, and are more Biblically based in their approach to theology.

Alabama Meetings

The only Quaker Meetings in Alabama are associated with FGC and are unprogrammed Meetings, with the exception of the Fairhope Meeting which, I believe, is not associated with any of the umbrella organizations. 

Quakers, with the possible exception of the Evangelical Friends, do not subscribe to a creed or statement of belief. From the EFI web site, it would appear that they do subscribe to a statement of belief and they appear to be very much  like other mainstream evangelistic denominations.

*Although Monthly Meetings meet every 1st Day (Sunday) they are designated as Monthly because they have monthly business meetings.

— Peter Furst, Meeting Member