Wilhelm Nast was born in Germany in 1807. He immigrated to the United States in 1828, eventually settling in Ohio. He became a professor at Kenyon College and served as a circuit rider, seeking converts to the Methodist faith. Due to the large number of German immigrants coming to Ohio, especially to Cincinnati, the Methodist Church dispatched Nast to that city to seek converts in 1835. Nast, a German immigrant himself, was able to preach to the Germans in their native language. He had limited success in Cincinnati but found numerous willing converts in more rural areas. Thanks to Nast's efforts, the German Methodist Church was eventually established. By the mid-nineteenth century, this faith claimed approximately sixty-three thousand members. Nast lived until 1899.