Asbury UMC breaks ground for multimillion-dollar expansion
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY—Hundreds of parishioners armed with shovels marked an important moment in Asbury United Methodist Church’s history, breaking ground for the church’s multimillion-dollar expansion on May 22.
Four years of careful strategic planning led up to the May 22 groundbreaking ceremony, Senior Pastor Dr. Kip Laxson said, but the process really began with the church’s growth.
Asbury UMC was founded in 1986, and by 1989, the church had 570 members and average worship attendance of 400. Since then, the church’s membership has nearly quadrupled, reaching more than 2,000 and worship attendance regularly exceeds 1,000.
“We’re out of space,” Laxson said. “Since 2011, over half of this church is new.”
The expansion includes a new, 35,000 square-foot sanctuary with more than 1,200 seats and more space for adult, child and youth activities.
Also proposed in the expansion plan are additional athletic playing fields, 338 new parking spaces, an organ and renovations to the current sanctuary, choir room and offices.
The church’s current 700-seat worship space will be downsized to a 400-seat space for contemporary worship services, educational meetings, weddings, performances and more.
The Asbury UMC expansion carries a price tag of between $12 million and $14 million.
The church kicked off the expansion fundraising campaign, called the Reach Campaign, in April 2015, and so far has raised nearly $6 million in funds.
For more information about the Reach Campaign and expansion, visit Reach.asburyonline.org.