On This Day in UB History: May 22 (Boehm and Newcomer)

May 22, 1799, seems to have been a disappointing day for Martin Boehm (left) and Christian Newcomer (right). They were holding a two-day meeting at the home of Andrew Zeller, who would go on to become a bishop, serving 1817-1821.

Newcomer frequently wrote about the “power” of Boehm’s preaching.

  • “Father Boehm spoke with great zeal and power.”
  • “The power of the Lord came down.”
  • “…extraordinary power; every heart present was touched and tendered.”
  • “Father Boehm preached this forenoon with great power and effect.”

Newcomer’s journal entry for May 22, 1799, says, “A great multitude of people had assembled; Brother Boehm spoke with uncommon power.” They then served communion to everyone.

But on this day, there was apparently power, but no “effect,” no hearts that were “touched and tendered” as was usually the case.

Instead, Newcomer wrote, “All did not seem to make any great impression on the hearts of the people. May God have mercy on them.”

Well, every evangelist occasionally faces audiences like that. Newcomer and Boehm just proceeded on to the next town.

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