Otterbein, Philip William

Otterbein, Philip William

(ŏt`ərbīn'), 1726–1813, German-American clergyman, a founder of the United Brethren in Christ. After pastoral work in Germany, he emigrated (1752) to America as a missionary of the German Reformed Church. In association with Martin BoehmBoehm, Martin
, 1725–1812, American evangelical preacher, b. Conestoga, Pa. He was the son of a Palatinate Mennonite who settled in Lancaster co., Pa. Boehm became a Mennonite preacher c.1756 and a bishop in 1759.
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, whom he met c.1768, he carried on successful evangelistic work, mainly in the German settlements of Pennsylvania and Maryland. His influence was widespread, especially after he became pastor of an independent congregation in Baltimore known as the Evangelical Reformed Church. While remaining a member of the German Reformed Church, Otterbein played a leading role with Boehm and a small group of lay preachers in laying the foundations (1789) of a denomination to be known as the United Brethren in Christ (later the Evangelical United Brethren ChurchEvangelical United Brethren Church,
Protestant denomination created (1946) by the union of the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren in Christ. Both denominations originated early in the 19th cent. and had similarities in organization and polity.
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), of which he and Boehm were elected bishops in 1800. Otterbein College is named for him.
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