History of Asbury, South United Methodist Church
When this church was founded in 1806, the area around this community was rather dense. The early settlers—most of them coming from the East—especially Pennsylvania, had to clear the land and build cabins. This was quite a struggle but there was a definite desire for a Christian Community.
Asbury, South sits in Madison Township which was a land so rich and productive at the time, that sections of it were referred to as the “Garden Spot of Franklin County”. From 1806-1810 settlers from the eastern states and surrounding counties came to the area and on March 4, 1810 Madison Township was officially organized. This area also had many Indian camps and artifacts can still be found today.
The first records of the now Asbury Congregation began with worshiping in various homes and barns. Methodists were the first to have religious services in Madison Township. The first Christian Fellowship meetings were held in the home of John Stevenson in 1806. For several years we were on the circuit, so record keeping is not as complete as we would like.
In 1820, a log meeting house was erected on the Stevenson farm. Around 1840 the congregation split into two groups. They came back together when the brick church was built on the north east corner of Noe-Bixby and Winchester Pike in 1872 at a cost of $7000. At this time, the church was officially named Asbury after Bishop Francis Asbury, who was the first Bishop of the Methodist Church and one of our circuit riders. In 1956, a planning committee was formed to plan for future expansion. Groundbreaking in October 1966 was for the building that houses our sanctuary. On May 9, 1993 ground was again broken for the addition of our Fellowship Hall, several classrooms, a large kitchen, a music room, and renovation of the sanctuary. Dedication for this addition was on March 20, 1994. Today the church sits on 4.8 acres which still allows for expansion when needed.
The church bell that sits out front on the corner of Winchester Pike and Noe-Bixby is from the original brick building. It was saved when the old brick church and community house were torn down. It is an outward sign of stability. Asbury has seen many physical changes, weathered many ups and downs with growth and decline in the area and the church as preserved for over 213 years. We have many active ministries, so stop by and check them out.