About Barclay Press
The Barclay Press office is located in Newberg, Oregon, near the campus of George Fox University. Since 1959 Barclay Press has served the Friends Church through the publication of books, pamphlets, curriculum, and periodicals. For its first 42 years Barclay Press was owned and operated by Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church. In 2001 the curriculum publication ministry of Evangelical Friends International (operating as George Fox Press) merged with Barclay Press. The reorganized Barclay Press is governed by a board of directors.
Friends have always valued publications. Early Friends were called “publishers of truth.” This concern for effective communication continues as Barclay Press seeks to share stories that change lives.
The ministry of Barclay Press is not exclusively for the Friends Church. Robert Barclay addressed his Apology “to the Clergy, of every kind into whose hands these theses may come, . . . whether Episcopal, Presbyterian, or otherwise.” The mission of Barclay Press - to the great commission - is a Christian mission. In addition, we continue to focus on concerns of spirituality and social responsibility.
Who was Robert Barclay?
Robert Barclay was one of the few “Quaker aristocrats” of the first half-century of the Friends movement. He was born to a wealthy Scottish family in 1648, brought up as a strict Calvinist, and educated at a Roman Catholic college in Paris where he became proficient both in Latin and French. Barclay became a convinced Friend at eighteen years of age after visiting his father in prison and coming under the influence of a fellow prisoner, John Swinton, who was a Quaker.
With the benefit of family wealth, Barclay spent a good deal of time in scholarship at the family estate in Ury. In 1678, at the age of 27, he published in Latin the work for which he is most famous, An Apology for the True Christian Divinity, being an Explanation and Vindication of the Principles and Doctrines of the People Called Quakers. Barclay’s Apology, as it’s known today, is still the best and most thorough defense of Friends principles that has ever been written.
In addition to his scholarly work, Barclay made an extensive evangelistic trip to Europe with George Fox, William Penn and George Keith and served for a time, in absentia, as Governor of the colony in East Jersey. He and his wife are ancestors both to the Barclays of the famous banking firm as well as the Gurneys of Earlham.