Martin Boehm

1725-1812. Co-founder of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.* Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, of Swiss Mennonite ancestry, he was chosen by lot at the age of thirty-one to become pastor of the Mennonite congregation to which he belonged. He prayed for God's help and was granted assurance of salvation and the desire to share his faith with others. He began his itinerant ministry at once among the German-speaking settlers of Pennsylvania and Virginia. His revivalistic activities and his willingness to conduct his work in English when necessary led the Mennonites to denounce and expel him. He continued his work in cooperation with other likeminded preachers, and met Philip Otterbein* at a great preaching meeting near Lancaster by 1768. Upon hearing Boehm preach, Otterbein embraced him saying, “We are brethren.” They became co-workers in the growing pietistic movement which was organized in 1800 as the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, with Boehm and Otterbein as bishops.