Jacob Albright

1759-1808. Founder of the Evangelical Church.* Born near Pottstown, Pennsylvania, son of German immigrants, he received little formal education. He grew up in the Lutheran Church, served as a soldier in the Continental Army, and became a prosperous brickmaker. The unexpected death of several of his children led to his conversion in 1790. He joined a Methodist class and was later licensed as a lay preacher. By 1800 several classes had been formed, and three years later Albright was ordained to the ministry by his congregation. In 1807 the Albright People were organized as “The Newly Formed Methodist Conference” with Albright as the first bishop. Later they became known as “the Evangelical Association” and then as the Evangelical Church (1922). The church adopted Arminian* doctrine and Methodist* polity.