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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.
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.
Martin Boehm died on March 23, 1812. Bishop Francis Asbury and Henry Boehm conducted a memorial service for Boehm on April 5, 1812.
Restoration to Bishop Emeritus
On February 26, 2016, the bishops of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference unanimously approved a resolution to "grant a remission of the censure of excommunication to Martin Boehm and a restoration of his bishop creditial, emeritus." The resolution was presented, and a written confession signed, by three Mennonite bishops at the 225th anniversary of Boehm's Chapel on June 26, 2016 to a crowd of more than 250 witnesses.
- Communications, United Methodist. "Mennonites reconnect with UMC founder - The United Methodist Church". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
- Boehm, Martin (1725-1812) at Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online
- The Ancestry of Martin Boehm
- Listing at Find-a-Grave
- The Story of Boehm and Otterbein, from the Church of the United Brethren in Christ website
- "Mennonites Reconnect with UMC Founder", from the United Methodist Church website