Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting (Unprogrammed)

The first Quaker settlement in Iowa began in 1835 when the Isaac Pidgeon family came to Henry County in southeastern Iowa. By 1860 there were five quarterly meetings in Iowa consisting of 45 local meetings in 18 different counties.

In 1939, a few people began meeting for unprogrammed worship in the home of a Friends family in Des Moines. The group continued to meet informally for about ten years. By 1950, the group was meeting for worship and a joint Sunday School at First Friends Church. In 1954 the Des Moines Friends Meeting was recognized as a monthly meeting by the FWCC (Friends World Committee for Consultation). The meeting moved to the Easter Seal Center in 1956 and met there until the present meetinghouse was completed in 1966.

The meetinghouse is an integral part of Friends House, the headquarters of the Central Region of AFSC. The current Des Moines Friends community is about 70 people.

Meeting Times

Sundays (First Day):

  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Worship followed by a half hour of fellowship
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Second Hour program on social and spiritual topics

Location/Contact Information

  • 4211 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310 | 515-274-4717
  • Contact: Lucinda “Cindy” Winchell (515-720-5516)


  • Everyday dress. When you enter the Meetinghouse, you will be greeted by a host.
  • The Unprogrammed form of worship found in Des Moines consists of a largely unplanned service. Also known as waiting worship, these services consist of large periods of silence, with intermittent vocal contributions by those moved by God to speak. As Friends believe in the ‘priesthood of all believers,’ there is no limitation on who is able to speak at these times.

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