West Elkton Friends is 210 years old as an organized meeting, but began in 1803 when Quakers opposed to slavery left Waynesborough, Georgia and settled the Elk Valley in the Northwest Territory. While all members were against slavery, not all were supportive of the Underground Railroad. Members of the meeting, however, actively participated in helping to ensure the safety of escaping slaves from Cincinnati to Fountain City. One example of this was a wagon constructed in the Talbert Buggy Factory which had a double floor, thus concealing escaping slaves. Another example was a journey made back to Wrightsborough to actively bring people north out of slavery.
The meeting has historically stood for equality of all and was one of the first open and affirming congregations in the Midwest. While not all people in the meeting are in agreement on social issues (including sexual orientation and service in the military) we seek peace even when opinions differ, and seek to serve that of God in each person. We search for unity, many times putting aside personal convictions that may be coming from society rather than from God. We try to focus on the spiritual aspects of unity with one another. We are supportive of all people in trying to help the light of Christ burn more brightly through encouragement and prayer.
Love, faith and hope are guides for our lives. We seek to remove any obstacles to hearing and feeling guidance from God. We believe all people have an Inward Light and that all can be led by it. We are Bible users, but we are not literalists. The scriptures inform us and help to guide us spiritually, but we depend on education for history and scientific analysis and use the Bible for spiritual discernment.
Rather than preaching to others about our faith, we endeavor to live lives which show our beliefs and our faith in God. This is called “letting your life preach.” As Quakers we seek ways to work with and beside others in order to demonstrate love and joy to all. We believe, without any doubt that all people are equal regardless of other factors.