Boehm, Martin

Boehm, Martin bām [key], 1725–1812, American evangelical preacher, b. Conestoga, Pa. He was the son of a Palatinate Mennonite who settled in Lancaster co., Pa. Boehm became a Mennonite preacher c.1756 and a bishop in 1759. A personal conversion resulted in dissatisfaction with the formalism of his denomination and his adoption of a more evangelistic type of preaching. He was excluded from the Mennonite Church. In association with Philip William Otterbein, whom he met c.1768, he traveled as an evangelist through Pennsylvania and Maryland and into Virginia, attracting large audiences, especially in the German settlements. Boehm was allied with the Methodists for a time, but finally became one of the founders of the United Brethren in Christ (see Evangelical United Brethren Church), of which he was elected bishop at the first annual conference in 1800.

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