History

Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church has a rich history, beginning in 1891 when a group of dedicated men and women saw a need for a Methodist church in the Oak Grove Community in the city of Richmond. The first meeting was held in the home of a private citizen and from that meeting attendance began to grow. By 1894, the need had grown to have a larger meeting space and a place was found at the corner of 19th Street and Albany Avenue. The church became a part of the West End Charge of the Virginia Annual Conference until 1901 when a church was built at 19th and Everett Street with a full-time pastor.

In the mid 1920’s, there had been phenomenal growth in the community and a larger space was needed. With a vision for the church and great faith, a new building was built at 607 Jefferson Davis Highway in Richmond. On Easter Sunday morning, April 17, 1927, a march was made from the Everett Street location for the dedication of the new facility.

The church continued to grow but not without struggles due to the Great Depression. With dedicated lay members and friends, the church battled through the struggles with the formation of a strong Sunday School, worship services, Boy Scout Troop, women’s missionary groups, three choirs and many outreach programs.

After more than twenty years of serving the community at the Jefferson Davis location, many members with families were moving to outlying areas and leaving the church. In 1963, the church completed a study to see if they should continue at their current location or look to move to another location. It was decided that they would stay to see if conditions would improve. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.

By the early 1980’s, the church had to take another look at the location and church attendance. We received an offer of a donation of 92 acres of land in Stafford County that could be sold to realize several million dollars. The board accepted the gift and proceeded to purchase land at 7151 Belmont Road (our current location). The parsonage garage on Belmont Road was renovated for use as a chapel until the church was completed.

On Easter Sunday, 1990, the first worship service was held in the fellowship hall of the new building. Worship services were held there until the sanctuary could be completed. On June 16, 1991, Asbury United Methodist Church merged with Memorial United Methodist Church to form Asbury Memorial UMC. During that year, we celebrated two faithful churches, Asbury and Memorial, who had served for the glory of God for 100 and 108 years, respectively.

Mission work was, and still is, one of our priorities by supplying food for CCHASM, feeding the homeless through CARITAS and the Grace Fellowship program, preparing Kits for Conference and many others. Over the years we have become a diverse congregation that has many gifted members serving the kingdom of God.

Asbury Memorial UMC has a vivid history and has endured many challenges over the years but our congregation has a deep and abiding faith in God and realizes that God has much more in store for us in the years to come. Praise be to God!

 

Jason ElmoreHistory