One Lincoln County worship facility is celebrating a century and a half this year of uniting Christian believers and serving the community.
Asbury United Methodist Church, located at 3097 Asbury Church Road in Lincolnton, is set to host their 150th anniversary celebration 10:30 a.m. Sunday with a special homecoming worship service.
Officially established in 1863, the church began many years earlier after the first congregation met in area homes in 1816, according to church historical documents.
The facility’s name stems from a man named Daniel Asbury, a preacher who used to ride by horse and helped plant the church’s seed, church officials said.
It wasn’t until nearly a decade-and-a-half after the church was officially established that members secured its initial building, a one-room structure at the time.
For close to 20 years, the church served as both a place of worship and education, teaching and training community families on a variety of topics, church officials said.
Asbury acquired a second brick building in 1895, followed by additional classrooms in 1935.
Finally, Joe M. Shuford and Sons, area contractors, fashioned the present-day Lincolnton facility during the 1950s, where Rev. N.L. Oliver first took the pulpit.
Over the years, classrooms continued to pop up on the property along with a new entrance tower and steeple, church history revealed.
Following Oliver’s leadership, Asbury witnessed 41 different pastors including current pastor Anita Sain, who has been with the church at least three years, according to Janice Hull, church historian and membership secretary.
Hull has been a dedicated Asbury member her entire life, following in the footsteps of the two generations before her.
She said she took over the role of historian earlier this year after her mother, who maintained the title for 15 years, died.
Hull said many current church members can trace their Asbury genealogy back farther than three generations and that one loyal woman, now nearly 100 years old, continues to attend Sunday service.
“Mrs. Sally Link is 99…and still drives her car and comes to church,” Hull said.
With a small-knit membership of 364 people, the historian considers the Asbury church community her “second family.”
“Everybody supports each other, and we love each other,” she said. “We love the Lord, too.”
Over the decades, Asbury has hosted numerous fundraisers, holiday festivals and volunteer activities, truly fulfilling the church mission —”to serve God in the world.”
Starting the end of October, the church will offer a more contemporary Sunday worship service at 9:30 a.m.
For more information on Sunday’s homecoming anniversary event, call the church office at (704) 735-6448.