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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Five Years Meeting of Friends, known as Friends United Meeting (FUM) since 1965, formed in 1902 as a central body representing most of North America’s Gurneyite Friends and the majority of the world’s Quakers. The origins of the organization were in the 1887 Richmond Conference, held in response to the challenges surrounding Quaker acculturation into the larger evangelical world. The body moved towards increased centralization in its earliest years, and then accommodated Quaker ecumenism in the mid-twentieth century. It has faced internal theological tension from the beginning and has suffered defections of both evangelicals and liberals. Work in missions and publications have been the focus of much of its efforts, though numeric decline has reduced its influence. African Friends now comprise the majority of FUM’s membership. Continued theological conflict has characterized the recent history of this organization, which still cherishes its Orthodox Quaker history.

Keywords: ecumenism, evangelical, Five Years Meeting, Friends United Meeting, Gurneyite, Orthodox, Richmond Conference

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