Our Purpose : Friends believe in a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, as a foundation for living. If you believe that Jesus is the Christ- that He is God's Son and your Savior - then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love His children, too." (I John 5:1) Friends emphasize putting beliefs into action, thus demonstrating loving concern for others. "Jesus said, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'" (Matthew 5:44). This is our example today in a society steeped in hate, revenge, and violence. The Friends Church offers a rich fellowship for you and your family, including many outlets for fruitful Christian obedience. Our Beliefs : The Evangelical Friends Church does not advance new teachings or doctrines. Instead, we seek to rediscover New Testament teachings and apply these age-old truths to our lives. As Friends we believe: God is our Father. Jesus Christ is "the Word made flesh" for us. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, Strengthener, and Guide. The Bible is the written Word of God, inspired by Him. A person receives forgiveness through repentance for sins and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior. The mission of the Church is to communicate the Good News of Salvation to people everywhere. Our Heritage : The Friends Church began more than three hundred years ago in England under the leadership of George Fox, a man who experienced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and spent his life sharing this experience with others. Those early Friends made great contributions to the spiritual and social needs of their country, taking the lead in securing prison reforms, religious liberty, Christian education, and care for the suffering. Before long the Friends (also called Quakers) began coming to the New World among many other colonists, and soon there were thousands of Friends in America. In 1681 the colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a prominent English Quaker, as a refuge from persecution for fellow Quakers. As other Americans moved west, so did the Friends, taking their faith with them. Among the first priorities for these pioneers was the establishment of a group for worship and a meeting house in which to conduct such worship. By 1812 Friends in Ohio had united to form Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends. They held their annual meetings in the Mt. Pleasant Yearly Meeting House for many years. Later Damascus became the headquarters and place of meeting. Since 1965 the church has held its annual session in Canton. In 1971 the name, Ohio Yearly Meeting, was changed. Now known as the Evangelical Friends Church - Eastern Region (EFC-ER), it participates actively in a larger group of Friends worldwide, Evangelical Friends International-North America (EFI-NA).