Friends Neighborhood Guild

Friends Neighborhood Guild was established in 1879 as Friends Mission #1 by the Hicksite Friends, a group of Quakers who split from the American Friends in the Great Schism of 1827-1828. In its first building at Beach Street and Fairmount Avenue, the Friends Mission sought to provide religious and moral uplift to the poor European immigrants flooding into the waterfront neighborhoods of Northern Liberties, offering worship services and youth and temperance meetings. In 1898, the Friends Mission changed its name to the Friends Neighborhood Guild, acknowledging its transformation to a proper settlement house. Since 1950, the Friends Neighborhood Guild has worked extensively to improve housing in the East Poplar neighborhood. Other services offered include youth counseling, workforce development, senior housing, and emergency energy-assistance programs. After occupying several locations in the neighborhood, the Guild moved to its current location in 1956.

Traditional Quakers believed in continuing revelation through a more personal relationship with the "Inward Light of Christ." But the Hicksites—named for Long Island minister Elias Hicks—deemphasized the divinity of Christ and the authority of scripture and ministers. Hicks, a staunch abolitionist, was critical of the powerful Philadelphia Quaker elite for both their tolerance of slavery, and for their wealth that was often the product of slave labor. The Orthodox and Hicksite Quakers slowly reconciled and reunified in 1955.

The Guild has adapted its programs and services to meet the needs of its changing community, serving a range of populations over the last century. In the early 20th century, the Guild served mostly Central and Eastern Europeans immigrants and their children, organizing vocational training and English classes to help them adjust. By the 1920s, the Guild's service area was primarily African American.

References

  • Dankanis, Mary L., et al. Guide to Northern Liberties. Philadelphia: The Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, 1982.
  • Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. An Inventory of the Friends Neighborhood Guild Records, 1880-1962. "Background Note." Swarthmore, PA: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Finding Aid available at: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/friends/ead/4035frne.xml
  • Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Religious Friends. "Historical Introduction." Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Religious Friends. © 1997-2006. Available at: http://www.pym.org/publish/fnp/04_history.php

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701 North 8th Street

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Greater Northern Liberties/Lower North Philadelphia

Mt. Tabor African Methodist Church Marshall Street curb market Marshall Street pushcarts mural Emmanuel Full Gospel Temple sign Exterior G. A. Bisler Paper and Box Company factory Brown St above 4th St. St. Agnes-St. John's Nepomucene Roman Catholic Church Northwest Corner of Bodine and Fairmount Ave Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church North Second Street corridor Garden Looms façade Saint Michael’s and Northern Liberties Rec Center, Three Men Talking 423 Fairmount Avenue Philip Kearny School Concilio building Friends Neighborhood Guild building, 151 Fairmount Ave. Richard Allen Homes Guild House building, 1967 Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site Building of the German Society Wedding Party, Saint Andrew’s Orthodox Church Thomas Mifflin School Ortlieb’s Remains (Liberty Lands in Winter) Madison Court, 1988 Adams & Keen, Factory Kaplan’s Bakery Philadelphia Glass Works Orianna Hill Park Crane, Demolition of the Tannery Cigar Factory Loft exterior Becker Building Gretz Brewery Salvation Army and Historical Marker Crane Co. building sign Al-Aqsa Islamic Society building "A Full and Complete Account of the Late Awful Riots in Philadelphia": Burning of St. Michael's Church, on Wednesday afternoon, May 8 Don Quixote statue Schmidt's Brewery and Tower St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church Stetson Hat Company factory, Building 15 Stores on North 5th Street Taller Puertorriqueño Congreso de Latinos Unidos Casita North Mascher Street casita Tomasita Romero and Iris Brown Norris Square, Hancock and Diamond Streets Ukranian Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church Bull's Head Tavern
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