Quakerism and Quakers are unfamiliar to some. We are a relatively small number. Proportionately, we make up less of the American population than in the early years of American history. For example Philadelphia was founded by, and populated with Quakers in its early years. Consequently, misconceptions about Quakers exist:
Quakers only existed in the past; there are no present day Quakers.
Quakers have existed since their founding in middle 17th century England. The faith has spread to many other countries and regions of the world. Today there are about 340,000 Quakers worldwide. Slightly less than 1/2 of those live in the Africas. About 90,000 live in the Americas, which includes North and South America.
In the Richmond VA area where Midlothian Friends are located, the number of Quakers has risen in recent years. Midlothian Friends Meeting actually grew out of its parent, Richmond Friends Meeting.
Quakers wear funny clothes, including wide-brimmed hats?
Quakers no longer wear the wide-brimmed dark hats that many people associate with Quakers, and that are still seen on packages of Quaker Oats cereals. While Quakers still follow the testimony of simple dress, hats in the United States and elsewhere are not the expected part of dress that they were earlier in history.
In the Richmond VA area, as well as in other parts of the country, the Mennonites and the Amish are more likely to wear clothing prescribed by their religious faith.