The Richmond Declaration was made by 95 Quakers (representatives of 12 Friends Yearly Meetings) in September 1887, at a conference in Richmond, Indiana. It was a declaration of faith, and although Quakers do not have a dogma or creed, the Richmond Declaration has been used as a standard by Orthodox (now represented by Friends United Meeting) and Evangelical Quakers (represented by Evangelical Friends International) ever since. The Friends United Meeting General Board reaffirmed the declaration as a statement of faith in February 2007.

The declaration stated, among other things, that the holy scriptures (i.e. the Bible) were a greater authority than the inner light; this emphasis is something that many yearly meetings of Quakers do not agree upon, yet it remains a defining aspect of the successors to the Orthodox branch.

"It has ever been, and still is, the belief of the Society of Friends that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God; that, therefore, there can be no appeal from them to any other authority whatsoever; that they are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Jesus Christ."

Criticism Edit

Some Quakers have a negative view of the Richmond Declaration. For example, Chuck Fager argues that, among other problems, the Declaration never represented most Friends and that it has prompted an unfortunate division in the Society [1]. Though it was primarily written by a British Friend, Britain Yearly Meeting (then called London Yearly Meeting) never approved it, and its acceptance at Richmond was factor leading to a sharp doctrinal turn for that group in 1895.

The Declaration is not accepted as a statement of faith by Friends General Conference or Beanite Quakerism in North America, or by most unprogrammed Friends in the rest of the world.


  1. Article by Chuck Fager

External linkEdit

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