South Carolina Friends have met annually since 1999 for the Palmetto Friends Gathering. There are currently eight Meetings and/or Worship Groups affiliated with the Gathering. All practice the distinctive silent worship traditionally associated with Quakers and work together for peace and social justice.
Meetings and Worship Groups participating are:
- Aiken Worship Group
- Bluffton Friends Worship Group
- Charleston Friends Meeting
- Columbia Friends Meeting
- Horry Friends Meeting
- Five Rivers Friends Meeting
- Greenville Friends Meeting
- Upstate Worship Group.
We seek a world
free of war and the threat of war.
We seek a society
with equity and justice for all.
We seek a community
where every person’s potential may be fulfilled.
We seek an earth restored.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
South Carolina Quaker History
From the South Carolina Encyclopedia:
An addition from Wilhemina Branson, a descendent of South Carolina Friends: “A Quaker from the north, Zachariah Dix, travelled to Bush River to labor with Friends there to give up their slaves and move north. It is the largest migration by a group of people who migrated because of concern for other people besides themselves. Almost the entire Meeting of Bush River migrated to Waynesville, Ohio in 1803, beginning the settlement of Quakers in Waynesville and surrounding territory.”
The Penn Center, formerly the Penn School, was founded by Quaker abolitionists and Unitarians in 1862 to educate formerly enslaved people. https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/penn-center/ and
The Schofield School was founded in 1865 by Martha Schofield, a Quaker from Pennsylvania, to provide schooling for formerly enslaved people.
Laing High School was founded in 1866 by Cornelia Hancock, a Quaker from New Jersey, to provide schooling for formerly enslaved people.
From Diane Rowley, currently a member of Atlanta Friends Meeting: “Laing school, the one my husband Bill Jenkins attended after it became part of the public school system. His grandmother and mother matriculated there when it was still under the care of Quakers. Bill recalled that the first book he enjoyed was an old Quaker reader that his grandmother had. In the early years of his career Bill was one of the people who tried to end the Tuskegee Study of Syphilis in the Negro Male. Later when he was a senior epidemiologist he became director of the Tuskegee Benefits Program office, the office at CDC that provided benefits and services to the men and he launched a work group that secured a Presidential apology from Bill Clinton for the study.”
Alternatives to Violence Project Program
Columbia Friends Meeting began an Alternatives to Violence program in 2015. Since then, they have conducted workshops at Estill prison, the Department of Juvenile Justice Bush River, and Trenton State CI. They have been asked to do programs at Edgefield FCI, Ridgeland, Camille and Manning. Unfortunately, the COVID virus has stopped the trainings for the time being.
A History of AVP: https://avpusa.org/
The Grimke Sisters, from Charleston, SC, were advocates for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights.