Boehm’s Chapel


Picture 23There are landmarks throughout the world that tell of the wonderful power of God and the experiences of man. One such place is a small chapel just south of Lancaster, PA. It still stands today with a beautiful restoration back in the 1990’s. Although the meetings that once influenced a whole generation no longer are conducted, it presence remains to draw us back to that place.

Here is a brief look through the portals of history. It has been captured in the book, Reminiscences of Rev. Henry Boehm (p 30) who lived between 1775 to 1875.

“Boehm’s Chapel was erected in 1791, the year in which Shadrach Bostwick, Joshua Taylor, and other strong men of our Israel were received on trial. The house was on a hill, from which there is a fine view of the neighborhood country, and was surrounded by trees, which still remain, adding to the beauty of the scene. The house was built of limestone; was forty feet deep and thirty-two wide, and had galleries. It was called ‘Boehm’s Chaple,’ because it was built upon Boehm’s land in Boehm’s neighborhood, and because the different families of Boehms did much toward its erection, and were regular attendants there.

“There were wonderful gatherings at Boehm’s Chapel. The bishops and the great men of Methodism found their way there, and preached the word. At quarterly meetings the people came from Philadelphia and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Western Shore from Watters’s neighborhood. Boehm’s Chapel was a great center of influence. Several itinerant ministers were raised up and went out from the neighborhood of Boehm’s Chapel to preach the Gospel. Ten I now think of, and there may be others: Joseph Jewell, who was Nathan Bangs’s first presiding elder in Canada; Simon Miller, Riehard Sneath, William and James Hunter, James and William Michel, Thomas and Robert Burch, and Henry Boehm. David Best and James Aiken were from the circuit. It is singular they were all from Ireland except Jewell, Miller, and myself.

Great quarterly meetings were held in this house. I will notice one held in 1798. Thomas Ware was the presiding elder, William Colbert and William P. Chandler the circuit preachers. The meeting began on Saturday, and while the presiding elder was praying the Holy Ghost filled the house where they had assembled. The work of revival commenced, and such were the cries of distress, the prayers for mercy heard all over the house, in the gallery as well as the lower part, that it was impossible for Mr. Ware to preach. He came down from the pulpit, and the brethren went to the penitent ones, as they found them in different parts of the house, and pointed them to Jesus, and prayed with them. They were assembled in different groups praying for the brokenhearted, and one after another found redemption in the blood of the Lamb. It was impossible to close the meeting, so it continued all day and most of the night. Sunday morning came, and they attempted to hold a regular love-feast, but all in vain. The cries of mourners, the prayers for mercy, and shout after shout as one after another passed from death unto life, made it impossible to proceed.”

To find out more about this chapel go to http://www.boehmschapel.org/

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