Page 11 - History of UB Church by A. Funkhouser Ver 1
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conferences. But as "Father Otterbein," he continued to be held in deep veneration. His personal
appearance is thus described by Henry Boehm, a son of his co-laborer: "In person he was tall,
being six feet high, with a noble frame and a commanding appearance. He had a thoughtful, open
countenance, full of benignity, and a dark-bluish eye that was very expressive. In reading the
lessons he used spectacles, which he would take off and hold in his left hand while speaking. He
had a high forehead, a double chin, with a beautiful dimple in the center. His locks were gray, his
dress parsonic." Stevens in his "History of the Methodist Episcopal Church," makes these
observations: "Otterbein was large, and very commanding in his personal appearance, with a
prominent forehead, upon which the seal of the Lord seemed to be-plainly impressed. His Christian
kindness and benevolence knew no bounds, and all he received, like Wesley, he gave way in

Otterbein's parsonage at Baltimore contained only four rooms. He was at this time a widower
without family. Anyone who lived with him was required to attend church. The bishop was sociable
and charitable, very regular and systematic in his habits, and very precise in his costume. After
coming to Baltimore, he gave up wearing a clerical gown in the pulpit and preached in the attire of
a citizen. He was opposed to church organs, and he did not believe a Freemason could be a

William Otterbein died at Baltimore, November 17, 1813, at the age of eighty-seven years,
having spent sixty-five years in the Christian ministry. That the funeral exercises for the venerable
bishop were conducted by ministers of the Lutheran, Methodist, and Episcopal churches is a
significant witness to the breadth of his sympathies.

For several years Otterbein had been too infirm to travel outside of Baltimore. Only six weeks
before his death he was assisted from his bed to an easy chair that he might ordain Christian
Newcomer, Joseph Hoffman, and Frederic Schaeffer, two of whom became bishops. The certificates
of ordination were written in English as well as in German.

11 William Otterbein & German Reformed Church
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