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Gatch, Philip (1751-1834), Methodist preacher and abolitionist  

Arthur Dicken Thomas

Gatch, Philip (02 March 1751–28 December 1834), Methodist preacher and abolitionist, was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, the son of Conduce Gatch, a Prussian immigrant, and Presocia Burgin, farmers. He received religious instruction at St. Paul’s Anglican church in Baltimore and formal education at a neighborhood school. In January 1772 Gatch first encountered Methodism when he heard Nathan Perigo preach. On 26 April 1772 Gatch underwent religious conversion at a Methodist neighborhood prayer meeting, and that summer he experienced entire sanctification—a term for John Wesley’s teaching on the experience of “Christian perfection” or “perfect love,” which Wesley believed to be obtainable in this life. He first preached at the Evans Meeting House in Baltimore County in July 1773. Thomas Rankin examined Gatch according to Wesley’s ...