Dewart Lake Community Friends Church was founded in 1980, as a group locally sought to plant a church here in and for the Dewart Lake Community. Wabash Friends Church provided oversight in the early stages, until Dewart Lake Community Friends became part of the Indiana Yearly Meeting.
Of course our roots go back further, stemming from the birth of the Friends in England over 350 years ago. In a time of religious and political upheaval, and disillusioned with the institutional Church, George Fox found fulfillment in a personal relationship with Jesus, and sought to share the experience with others. He had no intent on beginning a new denomination, but rather bring vibrancy to those holding to the Christian faith.
The term "Friend" or "Quakers" is now used by a number of groups, some of whom do not hold to a Christ Centered or inerrant view of Scripture. We hold firmly to Christ and Scripture. We are keen to honor the contributions to the faith that evangelical Friends have made over the years, such as pioneering prison reforms, and seeking to right the injustices faced.
The Friends came to America along with other colonists. William Penn, a prominent Quaker, founded the colony of Pennsylvania as a refuge from persecution for other Friends. Between 1800 and 1860, as the pioneers moved west, they began to establish meetings (churches) forming what we know as Indiana Yearly Meeting. This meeting has a rich heritage in eradicating social injustice such as the abolition of slavery.
Our history is important not because we cling to the past, but for the reminders of these faith-filled Christ centered followers and the impact they made on the communities they served. Our prayer that our contribution today to the kingdom and the community would be as faithful and meaningful to those we serve.
While our denominational origins give us history, and a legacy to continue, we know that our first identity is not "Friends" but "Disciples." As a result, the church here at Dewart Lake is made up of those from diverse denominational backgrounds, including our Pastors, worshipping together side by side, not just as Friends, but as God's family.