Ohio Yearly Meeting




Ohio Yearly Meeting

Mtg Type

Yearly Meeting

Established By

Baltimore Yearly Meeting 10/15/1812

First Met


Laid Down By


Last Met


Record Last Modified


Ohio YM is the sole surviving body of Wilburite Friends and continues to represent the pre-division Society of Friends.
In 1812, Baltimore YM set off Friends west of the Allegheny mountains as Ohio YM. It was the first YM to be established in over a century. Its earliest meetings in southwestern Pennsylvania had been part of Philadelphia YM until 1789 and Baltimore YM afterwards. Within a decade of the first session of Ohio YM, its western QMs were set off as Indiana YM.
In the 19th century, Ohio Friends suffered the greatest degree of splintering of any YM. Following the difficult Hicksite division here in 1828, Ohio Friends sponsored the first session of the General Committee, a nationwide affiliation of Orthodox Friends. By 1840, Ohio and Philadelphia YMs were already well-known for their emphasis upon the inward work of Christ and rejection of the beliefs set forth in the Beacon to the Society of Friends. Beginning in the 1840s, advocates of the Beacon and the doctrines of J.J. Gurney initiated divisions among Orthodox Friends, sending a nationwide committee to Ohio in 1854 that forced a Gurneyite division. Tired of the spirit of divisiveness, Ohio YM steered a semi-independent course after 1854, retaining a loose affiliation with Philadelphia YM and New England YM (Wilburite). At the time of the Conservative divisions in the 1870s, Ohio moved into fellowship with them as well as New England. Ohio YM became the "elder sister" among YMs in the late 19th century due to Philadelphia YM's inability to recognize the Conservative YMs. Leading Friends of other YMs sent their children to Ohio's Friends Boarding School (today Olney Friends School), which helped establish family ties among Conservative Friends.
Ohio YM's emphasis on retaining the hedge against the wider American culture was lowered in the 20th century. By the 1930s, Ohio Friends were allowing nationwide Quaker groups to hold meetings at Stillwater. The Discipline was substantially rewritten 1958-1962, at which time many changes were instituted. In the 1960s, the three surviving Conservative YMs began holding General Meetings circularly, but soon thereafter Iowa and North Carolina YMs began moving away from traditional Quaker beliefs and culture and into a closer relationship with FGC-affiliated bodies. The General Meetings were re-named General Gatherings in the late 1980s, at which time Ohio YM began charting a semi-independent course again with its emphasis on waiting worship under the guidance of Christ Jesus. Ohio YM remains the most traditional YM in the world and has been called the "museum of American Quakerism." While Ohio Friends do not see their purpose in life to be "out-Quakering" others (as we have been accused), we believe that we have an opportunity to model the life that Christ Jesus makes possible for all who learn to wait for His inward direction for their lives.



Pre-Separation Friends 1813-1827

Orthodox Friends 1827-1854

Wilburite Friends 1854-1883

Conservative Friends 1883-


Redstone Quarterly Meeting 1813-1869

Short Creek Quarterly Meeting 1813-1998

Salem Quarterly Meeting 1813-

Miami Quarterly Meeting 1813-1820

West Branch Quarterly Meeting 1813-1820

Fairfield Quarterly Meeting 1814-1820

Whitewater Quarterly Meeting 1816-1820

Blue River Quarterly Meeting 1818-1820

Stillwater Quarterly Meeting 1821-

New Garden Quarterly Meeting 1824-1836

Springfield Quarterly Meeting 1836-1872

Pennsville Quarterly Meeting 1855-1926

Hickory Grove Quarterly Meeting 1867-1917

Rockingham Quarterly Meeting 2012-


Ohio Men's YM 1813-1949

Ohio Women's YM 1813-1949

Ohio Select YM 1813-

Ohio YM (joint session) 1949-

Representative Meeting 1813-







Short Title

Book Type

When Published

William P. "Bill" Taber Jr.

Eye of Faith