Southern Quarter is the regional organization of the four Quaker Meetings on the Delmarva Peninsula on the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. It is affiliated with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (i.e. www.pym.org), an organization that serves Meetings and members of the Religious Society of Friends in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, all of Delaware, and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia. Download our printable brochure (in PDF) for more about us and about Quakerism.
Quakers generally believe, that there is that of God in every person and therefore God continues to reveal truth in some way to everyone. They also believe that God calls everyone to be compassionate and caring toward others and to do their best to bring their faith into action. Delmarva Quakers do not have a paid clergy. They practice an unprogrammed form of worship. Any one who is seeking a faith community is welcome to come and worship.
Click here to find out more about Quakerism.
Third Haven, the oldest of the four Meetings was founded in 1676 in Easton, Maryland. Its original meeting house was completed in 1684. It is still used during warm weather while the other buildigns on the site used year round. For a time there were as many as twenty worship groups on the peninsula. Several meetings in the rural Chestertown, Maryland area were established in the early 1700's. But, due in part to a sense of isolation from towns and societal support and because of economic pressures placed on Friends for not adhering to the "church of the state," many Quakers left the area. The Meetings in that area were eventually "laid down" or closed.
Camden Meeting, just south of Dover, Delaware, was established in 1805 and for a time they and Third Haven were the only Quaker Meetings on the peninsula. In 1971 a Meeting reemerged in Chestertown, which became Chester River Meeting. In 1987 a worship group in Salisbury, Maryland was formed which eventually became Wicomico River Friends Meeting. Though informal mid-week worship sharing had been going on in Lewes for several years, in 2006 the Lewes Worship Group was started under the care of Camden meeting. They meet now on Sundays at Cadbury at Lewes, a Quaker guided continuing care retirement community.
Up until the late 20th century, the regional organization was called Southern Half Yearly Meeting. The Meetings gathered twice a year mainly for the purpose of fellowship and keeping in touch.
Now the region is known as a Quarterly Meeting because it meets usually three times a year with occasional additional summer events. Following in past tradition Quarterly gatherings are marked by inspirational ministry, fellowship, interesting speakers and good food. The location rotates through the Meetings but the dates are mostly standard. They are held on the third Sunday's of October, January and May. Summer events, when they are held, vary from year to year.
Be sure and watch our home page for the latest happenings in our region and visit one of the four Meetings nearest to you. We hope you will find these pages helpful and we invite you to visit us often, here on the Internet and in our local Meetings.
Click here to find a Meeting on the Delmarva Peninsula.