One of the predecessor denominations of the United Methodist Church. The church was formally organized in September of 1800 following a number of years of less formal fellowship among lay persons and ministers. The church began as a movement among German-speaking lay people who were influenced by the preaching of Philip Otterbein. He later came into close association with a German Mennonite, Martin Boehm. At the time of its organizing conference in 1800, both Otterbein and Boehm were elected first bishops. It initially served the German immigrants in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As this population group moved west, so did the church, so that it soon had considerable strength in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. It held its first delegated General Conference in 1815 and approved a Discipline, a Confession of Faith and the basic form for its church government. In 1946, the Church of the United Brethren in Christ merged with the Evangelical Church to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. This in turn merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 and to form The United Methodist Church.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.