Founder of the Evangelical Association; b. Pottstown, Pennsylvania, May 1, 1759; d. Pottstown, May 18, 1808. The son of German immigrants, he received little formal education, was apprenticed to a brick maker, and followed this trade throughout his life. Albright was originally a Lutheran, but was converted to Methodism in 1790 and began to preach in German among his neighbors. In 1796 he was licensed as an exhorter and preached among the German settlers of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. He began forming classes on the Methodist pattern in 1800, and three years later he was ordained a minister by his congregation. When the language barrier separated his German congregations from the mainstream of American Methodism, Albright organized his followers as "The Newly Formed Methodist Conference" (1807) and was chosen by them as their first bishop. The Methodists made no effort to unite with them, and in 1813 the independent conference, subsequently known as the Evangelical Association and still later as the evangelical church, severed its nominal ties with Methodism.
Bibliography: r. yeakel, Albright and His CoLaborers (Cleveland 1883); History of the Evangelical Association (Cleveland 1909). r. w. albright, History of the Evangelical Church (Harrisburg 1942).
[r. k. macmaster]