Martin Boehm

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The restored interior of Boehm's Chapel

Martin Boehm (November 30, 1725 – March 23, 1812) was an American clergyman and pastor. He was the son of Jacob Boehm and Barbara Kendig who settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Boehm married Eve Steiner in 1753 and in 1756 he was chosen by lot to become the minister of the local Mennonite church.

Although raised a Mennonite, he lacked the assurance of the presence and power of Jesus Christ in his life and he prayed for a heart-warming experience, to deepen his personal faith. Then one day, after many months of prayer and meditation he had an epiphany. After this, Martin preached with confidence and fervor. In 1761, Martin was advanced to the office of bishop in the Mennonite tradition.

Boehm's Chapel

In 1791, Boehm donated land to the Methodists to build some type of religious buildings. That same year a church was built and named Boehm's Chapel.

In 1800, after being expelled by the Mennonites for being too evangelical, Boehm along with Philip William Otterbein, formerly a pastor at First Reformed Church, Lancaster, formed the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and they became the sect's first two bishops. They first met on May 10, 1767, in a Great Meeting held at Long's Barn in Lancaster, Pa. Otterbein was so impressed with Boehm's passionate message that he embraced Boehm and declared, "Wir sind Brüder" (We are brethren). In 1802, Boehm joined the Methodist Episcopal Church while still a bishop of the United Brethren.

He is believed to be a descendent of Jakob Boehme. His youngest child of eight children, Henry Boehm, also became a clergyman.

Martin Boehm died on March 23, 1812. Bishop Francis Asbury and Henry Boehm conducted a memorial service for Boehm on April 5, 1812.

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