Boehm, Martin

views updated


Cofounder of the Church of the united brethren in Christ; b. Conestoga, Pennsylvania, Nov. 30, 1725; d. Conestoga, Pennsylvania, March 23, 1812. Boehm was the son of a German-born blacksmith and Mennonite

elder. After becoming a Mennonite preacher in 1756, he came under the influence of the Great Awakening through disciples of George Whitefield. In 1767 Boehm met Philip William Otterbein, a minister of the Reformed Church, and their association led to the formation of the Church of the United Brethren. Boehm was also closely associated with Bp. Francis Asbury and other early Methodists, with whose theology he agreed. He was a preacher of religious revival among German settlers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia for more than 50 years, and he was made bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in 1800.

Bibliography: b. e. fogle, Martin Boehm (Dayton 1956). h. boehm, Reminiscences of Sixty-four Years in the Ministry (New York 1866). a. w. drury, History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Dayton 1924).

[r. k. macmaster]