Quaker organization has history in Pendleton

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By Sue Hughes | For The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Diann Herzog of Fall Creek Friends Meeting in Pendleton gave a talk about the history of the Quaker organization, which is located east of town on State Road 38. It was the first of a three-part speakers series that started at Pendleton Historical Museum on Sunday, Feb. 11.
In the mid-1800s, Jonathan Thomas and his daughter were following an old Indian trail from Connersville to Indianapolis, Herzog said.
“When he reached the spot where the church is now,” he stopped for a while, Herzog said. When his daughter asked why he stopped, “He said, ‘I heard an inner voice say, “Buy this land and deed it to the church; this is where your bones will be laid.”’”
Thomas went back to Pennsylvania, brought his wife and belongings, and ran the meeting house for about 20 years, she said.
“The word Quaker was coined by people as a derogatory term because members of faith sometimes shake during worship,” Herzog said.
The meeting house in Pendleton is an unprogrammed ministry.
“This means we do have vocal meetings, but most consist of an hour of contemplative silence,” Herzog said.
Herzog talked about the time the group almost lost the meeting house. Someone forgot to pay the property tax, and it was sold in an auction. The Friends continued to hold meetings there, and eventually the man who purchased the building sold it back to them.
“We have applied for a $750,000 African American civil rights grant,” Herzog said. “We would like to do some work on our meeting house.
“We believe our meeting house was a stop on the Underground Railroad.”
Also, she said, it was Quakers who came to the aid of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was attacked as he attempted to speak in Pendleton in 1843. Douglass also spoke at a local meeting house, she said.
Attendee Jeanette Isbell, vice president of the museum board, added, “Pendleton was started and grew because of Quakers. In the beginning, Pendleton was 75 to 90% Quakers.”
Herzog said there are about 10 members at the current location.
Fall Creek Friends Meeting is located at 1794 W. State Road 38, about two miles out of Pendleton. Worship is Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Its Facebook page introduction reads: “We are a community that gathers weekly to worship and listen to Christ’s voice within us. All are welcome to join us!”
The second talk in the museum series is set for March 10 at the Community Building in Falls Park. It’s titled “Remembrance Day.” Author David Murphy will speak on the events surrounding the Indian massacre of 1824. Marla Fair, from the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency, will speak on the role John Johnston, Indian agent, played in the events.

What Do Quakers Believe?
There are two fundamental aspects to Quaker faith. First, Friends believe that all people are capable of directly experiencing the divine nature of the universe — which is known by many names, God or the Holy Spirit or simply Spirit being among the most common. You don’t need a priest or any other kind of spiritual intercessor; you don’t need to perform any kind of ritual. When you need to hear from God, you will. When Spirit has a message for you to share, you should share it.
That leads us to the second key principle, our belief in continued revelation. In the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, we read many stories of God communicating directly with people. Friends believe God’s revelations have never stopped, and that God might reach out to any one of us at any time. When Quakers come together to meet for silent worship, we participate in a shared space in which we strive to become better able, and help each other become better able, to recognize such divine messages.
Source: quaker.org