The Methodist Experience in America Volume 1

( 1 )


Beginning in 1760, this comprehensive history charts the growth and development of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren church family up and through the year 2000. Extraordinarily well-documented study with elaborate notes that will guide the reader to recent and standard literature on the numerous topics, figures, developments, and events covered. The volume is a companion to and designed to be used with THE METHODIST EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA: A SOURCEBOOK, for which it ...
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Beginning in 1760, this comprehensive history charts the growth and development of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren church family up and through the year 2000. Extraordinarily well-documented study with elaborate notes that will guide the reader to recent and standard literature on the numerous topics, figures, developments, and events covered. The volume is a companion to and designed to be used with THE METHODIST EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA: A SOURCEBOOK, for which it provides background, context and interpretation.

Contents include:

Launching the Methodist Movements 1760-1768

Structuring the Immigrant Initiatives 1769-1778

Making Church 1777-1784

Constituting Methodism 1784-1792

Spreaking Scriptural Holiness 1792-1816

Snapshot I- Methodism in 1816: Baltimore 1816

Building for Ministry and Nuture 1816-1850s

Dividing by Mission, Ethnicity, Gender, and Vision 1816-1850s

Dividing over Slavery, Region, Authority, and Race 1830-1860s

Embracing the War Cause(s) 1860-1865

Reconstructing Methodism(s) 1866-1884

Snapshot II- Methodism in 1884: Wilker-Barre, PA 1884

Reshaping the Church for Mission 1884-1939

Taking on the World 1884-1939

Warring for World Order and Against Worldliness Within 1930-1968

Snapshot III- Methodism in 1968: Denver 1968

Merging and Reappraising 1968-1984Holding Fast/Pressing On 1984-2000

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687246724
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

(2011) Russell E. Richey is Dean Emeritus of Candler School of Theology and the William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Church History Emeritus in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kenneth E. Rowe, a retired clergy member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, the premier bibliographer of American United Methodism, was for 31 years Methodist Librarian and Professor of Church History at Drew University, as well as Professor of Church History in the Theological and Graduate Schools. He is also Emeritus Professor of Church History and Methodist Archives Librarian at Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey.

Jean Miller Schmidt is Gerald L. Schlessman Professor Emerita of Methodist Studies, The Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.

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Table of Contents


A Quick Overview

Dynamics in Methodist Evolution

The Narrative Line

Using This Narrative with the Sourcebook

Chapter I Launching the Methodist Movements: 1760-68 1

Pietism 1

Colonial Inroads 4

Otterbein and Boehm 5

Of the Origin of the United Brethren in Christ 7

Methodist Beginning in America 9

Of the Rise of Methodism (so Called) in Europe and America 10

Early Leaders 10

Pietist Communities 13

Chapter II Structuring the Immigrant Initiatives: 1769-78 15

Occupying Canaan under Wesleyan Order 15

Frontier Challenges 17

Order and Freedom 19

Conquest by Conferencing 21

Discipline: Rankin and Asbury 23

Tensions and Controversies as Revolution Looms 25

Wesley and Revolution 26

Collaborators, Loyalists, Pacifists, Persecuted, Patriots 28

American Methodism 30

Chapter III Making Church: 1777-84 33

Declarations of Independence 33

Fluvanna Schism 34

Moses and Aaron 36

Wandering toward Prerogative? 37

Revival through Quarterly Meetings 39

Crossing Jordan: Covenant and Connectionalism 41

Tensions in Canaan 42

Transferring the Mantle (Ordinations and Order)? 44

At Full Liberty to Follow the Scriptures and the Primitive Church 45

Preparations for a Christmas Conference 47

Chapter IV Constituting Methodisms: 1784-92 49

1784 and All That 49

Otterbein: Baltimore and Environs 52

Praying in the New Order: Gender and Gentility 54

Liberty 55

Biracial but Segregated 58

Itinerating into Order and Disorder 60

The Council 64

General Conference 67

Schism 68

Constituting 71

Chapter V Spreading Scriptural Holiness: 1792-1816 73

Spirituality and Order: United Brethren, Evangelical Association, Methodist Episcopal 74

Introduction and Preamble: To the Gentle Reader [Evangelical Association] 77

Methodists: Conferencing the Continent 79

Conferences Politicized: Toward a Delegated General Conference 80

The Teaching Office 81

Camp and Quarterly Meetings 83

Rhythms of Methodist Spirituality 85

Racializing the Church 86

Transitions 88

Snapshot I Methodism in 1816: Baltimore 91

Methodism in Black and White 92

Divided by Languages 93

Defined by Calendar 94

A Quarterly "Church" 96

The Weekly Calendar 97

Institutions 99

Coda 101

Chapter VI Building for Ministry and Nurture: 1816-50s 103

Interring Asbury: Establishing a New Order 103

Nathan Bangs: Transitioning the Teaching Office 104

An American Methodist Voice and Identity 106

The Book Concern 107

Magazine, Papers, Tracts, Sunday School Literature 108

Parsonages and Home Altars vs. Classes and Circuits 111

Worship and Formality 114

The Sunday School: Background 119

Sunday Schools and Catechisms 120

The Missionary Impulse 123

Phoebe Worrall Palmer and Tuesday Meetings 129

Class Meetings and New Denominational Order 133

Experiments: Liberal and Ministerial Education 135

Colleges: The Founding Era 136

Theological Education, Croakers, and Semi-Centennial Sermons 139

Chapter VII Dividing by Mission, Ethnicity, Gender, and Vision: 1816-50s 141

Division: Ordering and Disordering 141

Authority: Local vs. Connectional 142

Race and Antislavery 143

Language Lines 146

Women in Ministry 147

Native American Missions 152

Mission to the Slaves 158

Slave Catechisms 159

Missions across Boundaries: Domestic and Foreign 161

Contest over Presiding Elders 164

Broadening the Agenda 167

Methodist Protestants 171

Methodist Protestant "Brief Historical Preface" 172

Not an End but a New Beginning to Division 174

Chapter VIII Dividing over Slavery, Region, Authority, and Race: 1830-60s 175

A Sectional Church 175

A Divided Church Divides the Nation 178

A Wesleyan Methodist Connection 181

General Conference of 1844 182

Division 185

Ligislative Posturing 187

Of the Organization of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South 189

Border Warfare 192

New Antislavery Churches 194

The Lay Voice (Again) 195

Chapter IX Embracing the War Cause (s): 1860-65 197

Patriotism, Confederate Style 198

Chaplains and Army Missionaries 198

Reaffirming an MECS Identity 200

Northern War Fervor 203

Union Chaplians: Ordained and Lay 206

Northern Methodist Women and the War 207

Homes for Children and the Aged: A Wesleyan Recovery 208

Orphanages 209

Homes for the Aged 213

Black Annual Conferences and the MEC's Southern Mission 217

Cross and Flag 218

Buildings for National Churches 219

Chapter X Reconstructing Methodism (s): 1866-84 223

The Centenary Jubilee 224

Lay Representation: A New Partnership 225

The Organizational Revolution 229

Women's Work in the Church 234

Women's Missionary Societies 236

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) 240

Woman in the Pulpit 241

Theological Education 245

Camp Meeting and Classroom Accountability 246

Nurturing Members 248

Methodism: Intercultural, Fraternal, Ecumenical 251

Competing Black Methodisms 257

Conclusion and Transition 261

Snapshot II Methodism in 1884: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 263

The City 263

The Methodists 264

New Church Buildings, 1877, 1885 265

Pastoral Leadership 268

Calendar, Program, and Order: The Social Congregation 269

Public Worship 270

Stewardship: Financial and Personal 272

Coda 273

Chapter XI Reshaping the Church for Mission: 1884-1939 275

Laity Rights for Women 277

New Ministries for Men and Youth 284

Central Conferences and the Ordering of Missions 286

Women's Home Missionary Societies 287

Welseyan Service Guild 289

Missions to Korea 290

Asian American Methodists 293

Rethinking Missions 297

Social Holiness to Social Gospel 299

Deaconesses 308

Methodist Hospitals 316

Institutionalizing Social Christianity: MFSS and the Social Creed 321

Chapter XII Taking On the World? 1884-1939 327

Conflicts: Social, Economic, Racial, Theological 327

Labor, Round One 328

Holiness Exodus 329

Towards a "Socialized Church"? 332

Temperance and Prohibition 336

Radicalism and Reaction: The"Red Scare" of the 1920s and 1930s 338

Methodist Fundamentalism 340

Southern Methodist Women and Racial Reform 343

Renewed Efforts on Behalf of Ordination of Women 346

From Spontaneity to Formalism in Public Worship 349

Environments for Worship, Education, and Fellowship 351

Missions in War and Peace 358

Race and Reunion 363

Chapter XIII Warring for World Order and against Worldliness Within: 1939-68 373

Methodism and a New World Order 373

TheHolocaust, japanese Internment, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki 378

Council of Bishops, Judicial Council, Conferences, Agencies 380

Judicial Council 381

Annual Conferences 383

Administrative Agencies 384

Jurisdictioned Church 387

The Central Jurisdiction 388

Methodism vs. Its Own Segregation 391

Methodists in the National Campaign against and for Segregation 394

Slow Transitions 396

Women's Organizations and the Pursuit of Clergy Rights for Women 398

Full Clergy Rights for Women 402

The Methodist Youth Fellowship and the Methodist Student Movement 404

The Evangelical United Brethren Church 406

Worship: EUBC and Methodist 408

Methodist Liturgical Legacies 409

United Brethren Worship 411

Evangelical Church Worship 412

Worship in the Evangelical United Brethren Church, 1946-68 412

Environments for Worship 413

Cold and Korean Wars 417

Social Activism and "Red Scare" 419

The 1968 Union and Other Ecumenical Projects 423

Mission Churches Request Autonomy 428

Snapshot III Methodism in 1968: Denver 431

A Legacy in Its Name and Architecture 431

Renewal through Social Ministries 434

The Weekly Program 437

A Calendar of Outreach and Mission 438

Calendaring Change 440

Coda: U.S. United Methodism and Mainline Denominationalism 442

Chapter XIV Merging and Reappraising: 1968-84 447

From Jurisdiction to Caucus and Commission 448

African Americans in United Methodism 450

The New Church and War 454

Union Homework: Ethical, Organizational, and Doctrinal 457

New Organizations to Empower Women 462

Homosexuality: Cause and Caucus 467

Asian Americans and the Quest for Place 475

Latino Self-Determination: Familia and Fiesta 481

The Voices of Native Americans 486

Care and Liability in an Age of Medicare and Medicaid 492

Divorce and Abortion 496

Divorce 496

Abortion 499

Good News: The Formation of a Shadow Connection or Church? 502

Spiritual Resources, Liturgical Norms, and Inclusive Language 507

Chapter XV Holding Fast/Pressing On: 1984-2000 511

Doctrine Defined and Tested 513

The Teaching Office 516

Ministries to/for/by the Oldest and Newest Americans 520

Native Americans 520

Hispanics 523

Korean Americans 526

Abortion: Protecting Life, but Whose? 528

Homosexuality: Reconciliation, Transformation, or Schism? 530

Theologizing Left and Right 536

United Methodism's "Other" Ecumenical Fronts 539

A Sacramental Church? 542

Holy Communion 542

Baptism 547

Hymnal and Worship Books 549

Women Get the Last Word 551

Abbreviations 555

Notes 565

Index 671

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First Chapter

The Methodist Experience in America Volume 1

By Russell E. Richey

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2010 The United Methodist Publishing House
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-687-24672-4

Chapter One

Launching the Methodist Movements: 1760–68

Where does one start the story of United Methodism? With the formative experiences in the Susanna and Samuel Wesley home? Or with John and Charles Wesley in Georgia in the 1730s? Or with John's Aldersgate experience? Or with George Whitefield's American tours and the First Great Awakening? Or with competitive "spontaneous" beginnings in the 1760s through Robert Strawbridge in Maryland, through William Otterbein and Martin Boehm in the middle colonies, and through Barbara Heck, Philip Embury, and Thomas Webb in New York? Or with the roots of the several evangelical movements in Pietism?


The story of United Methodism requires a wide perspective. Pietism, because it underlay or affected the several Methodist movements, provides such a canvas, and William Otterbein (1726–1813) will first claim our attention, as he does in MEA I (Sources 1760). Pietism was a transatlantic, transconfessional, diffuse religious reform impulse that sought to sustain the authentic witness of the faith but that in so doing defined itself initially over against orthodoxy and later over against aspects of the Enlightenment. The faith so "preserved" differed. Pietist or Pietist-like assumptions, beliefs, mores, and communal structures typified the patterns of life and thought espoused by its Lutheran pioneers, Philipp Jakob Spener (1635–1705) and August Hermann Francke (1663–1727); by the Moravians; by Roman Catholic Jansenists; by the Hasidic Jews; by late Puritanism; by British evangelicalism (Anglican and Presbyterian); and by the panoply of colonial revivalism. Diversely expressed, the movement named itself diversely. In the North American context it bore the identity of evangelicalism or revivalism.

Pietist and Pietist-like movements characteristically emphasized

• experimental religion, locating the religious impulse in the heart (will and affections); • both consciousness and expression of the heart's commitments (conversion and testimony); • an obedient life, strict moral codes, and corporate discipline as appropriate expressions thereof; • the accessibility of the biblical word and rule to the awakened lay spirit; • growth in the faith through active devotions but also through education, educational programs, and literature, all adjusted to suit age, culture, and circumstance; • the importance of a witness communally shared through prayer, Bible reading, hymns, and preaching; • everyday life as a sacrament to be shaped and enlivened by a vibrant faith and expressed in holy living; and • biblical doctrine or doctrines as the light by which all this activism stays on course.

(For expressions of such experimental religion in early Methodist movements, see Sources 1760, 1773, 1775a, 1780b, 1785a, 1785b, 1785c, 1787, 1789a, 1791b, 1791c, 1798 on class meetings, and 1800b.)

Pietist emphasis on doctrine proved insufficient, careless, or imprecise to the "scholastics" who were typically in positions of authority and viewed themselves as consolidators of the sixteenth-century reformations. Those in power complained as well that Pietists did not measure up to what tradition had expected in zeal for the ritual or sacramental life. Opponents, therefore, found the movement's slights as objectionable as its emphases.

Protestant Pietism shaped experimental religion around the conversion experience, understood not simply as a forensic alteration in one's status with God but as a discernible inner change. In this transformation one became a reborn Nicodemus, a recreation in Christ, whose character and life manifested a new identity in fruits of the Spirit. Pietism resourced those reborn and those seeking rebirth in small groups that encouraged members to make the Scripture normative for everyday life, that sheltered individuals and families from "the world," and that empowered them to counter its claims and demands. In and through such conventicles, little churches within the church, collegia pietatis, laity (male and female) gained voice and exercised leadership, a challenge and threat to public and religious conventions. Pietism drew such leadership into active missionary endeavor at home and abroad. It extended the gospel and invitation into Christian community to populations previously ignored or over previously insurmountable confessional barriers. And wherever it prospered, it challenged those who had settled for formal, notional, legal, or outward religiosity and repudiated the easy compromise that religion had made with status, wealth, power, display, and prerogative. Against such worldliness, Pietists invoked the witness of the prophets and the teaching of Jesus. In such worldliness, Pietism discerned the sin or sins that separated individuals from God. In particular, Pietism offered a prophetic critique of established, more priestly, and unregenerate forms of Christianity and leaders so characterized. Though it sought reform, it eschewed polemics and sought the widest possible unity among likeminded persons. The several resources that Pietism offered—new identity, community voluntarily created, a competitive missionary spirit, courage to persist despite society's disdain, willingness to forge new alliances—proved highly functional in the new American environment.

Pietism provided a new way of life for its adherents and motivation to tackle society's ills. It spoke of corruption, of power, of authority, of legitimacy. By identifying the corrupt—the luxury of gentility or laxness of clergy—it broke social conventions of deference and passive obedience. It did not, however, weave these elements of social critique into a program for systemic reform or a theory of new world order or a vision of the godly state or even of the church as an anticipation thereof. Such a civil or societal theology, as offered by Puritans and other Calvinists, had brought chaos to Europe. Pietists, though highly communal on a local level and creatively productive of new ecclesial institutions, would work their transformations from the bottom up rather than the top down. Renewal would start with the conversion experience rather than parliamentary act, with a conventicle rather than a reform program, with missionary outreach rather than armed insurrection.

That beginning point for change has earned for Pietism labels of individualistic, moralistic, and otherworldly. And certainly by contrast to Puritanism, Pietism offered a social ethic unwedded to a theory of the state and strategies for reform. Yet some who felt Pietism's denunciation of worldliness found it radically transformative. Others experienced it as socially revolutionary. Many denounced it as tasteless. Where it prevailed, Pietism had the capacity to shape society and culture. The transmission of this culture then became a communal and preeminently a family project, permitting and requiring vital roles for women as well as men. In the eighteenth and particularly in the nineteenth century, women involved themselves on behalf of revival—within families, nurturing the piety of spouse, children, and servants; in congregations, through prayer groups and Sunday schools; and outward into community, nation, and world through mission, benevolent, and reform societies. Pietism lowered the gateway into ministry and raised the expectations of laity, thereby drawing women as well as men, blacks as well as whites into public witness, lay preaching, and eventually formal ministry.

Pietism made religion a communal endeavor. And when it wedded itself to republicanism—which offered a rather more civil and systemic theory of corruption, of power, of authority, of legitimacy—Pietism readily took up the agenda of Puritanism. It would Christianize America and the world, albeit with the procedure of conversion and revival. But this wedding, achieved during the Second Great Awakening and through the emergence of popular denominations, and the ambivalences and tensions it produced lie ahead. At this point, we look at the entry of Methodist forms of Pietism into the New World.

Colonial Inroads

Pietism came into American life through many channels. One collective identification of these diverse channels was subsequently termed the First Great Awakening, a several-decade effervescence of heart religion, revived discipline, revivalistic preaching, and mass conversions, successively disturbing the religious status quo in the middle, New England, and southern colonies. Though such activity brought ministers from various confessions or denominations into local or regional prominence, the actors who achieved transcolony reputations were Jonathan Edwards (1703–58) and George Whitefield (1714–70). The latter, by his six evangelistic tours, 1738–70, gave the seaboard colonies a good exposure to Calvinistic Pietism and Calvinistic Methodism. He popularized and legitimated patterns of extemporaneous, expressive, open-air preaching. He showed the power of itinerant evangelists to stir conversions among diverse peoples and across confessional lines. He made theatrical revivalism the prototypical American religious style. He pioneered in promotion, self-promotion, and use of the press, all for evangelistic purpose. And Whitefield gave Methodism its first American hearing (Sources 1768). Many who found their way into the Wesleyan orbit had been affected by Whitefield's preaching. Some of his converts provided key leadership to early classes and societies, notably Edward Evans and James Emerson in Philadelphia. And Whitefield issued an early call to John Wesley to send itinerants.

Whitefield's role and salience as Methodism's colonial herald contrast with those of the Wesleys, John and Charles, whose efforts in Georgia (1736–37) left little in the way of continuing Methodist influence and some considerable embarrassment. The Georgia episode evidenced more of the Wesleys' Anglo-Catholic piety than of their Pietism. Only after his return from Georgia, it should be noted, did John become involved with the Moravian-led Fetter Lane Society, undergo his Aldersgate experience, and make his visit to the Moravian headquarters at Herrnhut. The Georgia mission left its enduring and important effect in John Wesley's own development. It established for Wesley and within Methodism concern for the well-being and evangelization of Native Americans and African Americans. And it came to belong to the longer story of American Methodism through its literary placement in the Wesley saga as "the second rise of Methodism." By other routes the leaven of Pietism and the Methodist versions thereof came to the colonies.

Otterbein and Boehm

William Otterbein belonged to a family of pastor-theologians steeped in the German Reformed tradition and the Pietism of their native Herborn. Confessional, churchly, apologetic, orthodox, covenantal, and christocentric, Herborn Pietists grounded the religious life in doctrine and Scripture as read through the Heidelberg Catechism. This sixteenth-century ecumenical, pastoral, personal compilation guided Herborn Pietists to a life lived in the Spirit. It mapped the spiritual life as a pathway, ladder, or series of steps toward salvation and as followed under and directed by covenant. Herborn kept its counsel understandable, attainable, and practical, and accented the Christian's ability to live a holy life.

Like his five brothers and father, William studied at the Reformed university at Herborn, a nursery of Pietism, where recognition of his abilities earned him a teaching role as tutor. He passed ordination examinations, subscribed to the Reformed confessions, and was ordained (1749). He served for three years in Germany, demonstrating early his ability as a teacher, preacher, and pastor. His organizing of Bible and prayer groups earned Otterbein a formal reprimand from authorities for holding such "divisive" conventicles. He then responded to the plea for ministers made by Michael Schlatter (1716–90), leader of the Pennsylvania (Reformed) Coetus (synod or conference) and on a recruitment mission for pastors. In 1752, Otterbein aligned with Coetus and became pastor in the important Reformed community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There he found himself amidst the religious ferment through which churchly and Pietist groups emerged to give stability and direction to the Dutch and German settlements in the middle colonies. Otterbein served in Lancaster (1752–58) and Tulpehocken, Pennsylvania (1758–60); Frederick, Maryland (1760–65); York, Pennsylvania (1765–74); and Baltimore, Maryland (1774–1813), but consistently itinerated to preach to German communities in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, while continuing to play leadership roles within the Coetus (which was related to the Amsterdam Classis). Otterbein exercised "episcopal-like" leadership among the Pietist Germans comparable, argues J. Steven O'Malley, to that provided by Theodorus Frelinghuysen for the Dutch—that of identifying, nurturing, ordering, and deploying like-minded preachers.

In 1755 Otterbein experienced "a more perfect consciousness of salvation in Christ" (conversion experience) and redoubled his efforts to hold himself and his congregants to a covenanted and disciplined life through prayer and Bible groups. Otterbein's evangelical Pietist convictions radiate through the little gospel he preached in 1760 in Germantown before the Coetus (Sources 1760). In it, Otterbein detailed the human plight of sin and death, the good news of Christ's victory through the cross, the imperative of human response to God's gracious atoning act and of inner struggling to permit the Spirit to destroy the Satan within, the possibility of reaching assurance of one's new standing, and the life of holiness that Christ-in-us thereby makes possible and necessary. His call for repentance and summing up of the Christian way as one of "denial, inward renewal, and holiness" made clear to hearers and readers that Otterbein taught Reformed doctrine that eschewed hyper-Calvinist notions of predestination and made a significant place for human volition and responsibility. The same effort and discipline, insisted Otterbein, should inform the corporate life of the Christian community, much needed amidst the moral confusion characteristic of new communities. He therefore made provision in the churches with which he worked for small prayer, for Bible study groups, for the collegia pietatis, for the catechizing and schooling of children, and for a covenant to order the entire community. An example of the latter is "The Constitution and Ordinances of The Evangelical Reformed Church of Baltimore" (Sources 1785b).

During Otterbein's ministry in York and on one of his itinerations, he attended a "great meeting" near Neffsville in Lancaster County. The event, perhaps in 1767, a several-day ingathering, anticipatory of the later camp meetings, had been common in the colonial German community since the early 1720s (the site was Long's Barn, a UMC Heritage Landmark). The leader at this event was Martin Boehm (1725–1812), a Mennonite preacher whose evangelistic style, personal religious experience, and insistence on assurance resembled those of Otterbein. After hearing Boehm, Otterbein embraced him, announcing, "Wir sind Bruder!" Thus began an association that would eventuate in the United Brethren in Christ.

Boehm, a Swiss-German Mennonite, had been selected by lot as preacher in the late 1750s and made bishop in 1761 by his Lancaster County congregation. A farmer, Boehm received his training, not in the university like Otterbein, but through the traditioning of the Mennonite community. Believer's baptism, opposition to oaths and violence, a life lived out of the New Testament, and personal assurance through the Spirit defined Boehm. Like Otterbein, he itinerated, responding to pleas from Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania and Virginia. His evangelistic efforts yielded "revival" among the Mennonites but also controversy. Sometime in the late 1770s a Mennonite conference excommunicated him. Among its findings were "sins" of association and of insufficient stress on the sacraments. Boehm had wandered into patterns of expansive revivalism unsettling to more traditional Mennonites. Boehm's example and influence drew colleagues as well as adherents, and the movement gravitated into increasing contact with those of Otterbein and of early Methodism.

The further association of the communities around Otterbein and Boehm into protodenominational and denominational organization we will cover in chapter 4, but here we exhibit through the following historical statement from its Discipline the United Brethren's understanding of its beginnings.


Excerpted from The Methodist Experience in America Volume 1 by Russell E. Richey Copyright © 2010 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Lots of good info!

    This book is packed with American Methodism, but is difficult to track, as the dates jump back and forth so much, repeating information. A time line might help.

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