Church History

A History of Asbury United Methodist Church

In 1956 Cargill Methodist Church voted to relocate to Wesley Avenue and Ruger Heights. Rev. William A. Riggs, pastor of Cargill, also saw the need for a second Methodist church to meet the needs of 66 families living in Janesville’s growing southwest area. Cargill became the “mother Church” of Asbury. The Board of Missions of the Wisconsin Annual Conference purchased property at Oakhill and Kellogg Streets for $2,000. Cargill families living in the area would have the option to transfer to the new church.

The first meeting was held at the home of Lester and Virginia Schumacher on April 24, 1958. It was decided to use the Teamster’s Union Hall as a temporary meeting place. Rev. Royce Wade became the first pastor. On June 27, 1958, 85 Cargill members were transferred to Asbury. On July 27, 1958, the charter membership book was signed and officers were elected. The first church budget was for $2,031.00. In October 1959 a parsonage was secured at 1414 S. Willard Ave.

On December 20, 1958, the Building Committee held its first meeting and the church broke ground on October 2, 1960, for a two-story Fellowship Hall. On January 30, 1966, Fellowship Hall was dedicated.

In 1961 Rev. William Morton became pastor. The church grew rapidly and in September 1963 the Building Committee met to make plans for a new sanctuary. Rev. David V. Harsh was appointed pastor in 1965.

On May 15, 1966, ground was broken for the new sanctuary. Children of the congregation pulled a plow over the area, and 130 persons attended in the rain. The sanctuary was built at the approximate cost of $155,000. The consecration service was held on May 7, 1967. In 1971 Rev. Worm was appointed pastor; he served four years. Dr. Kent Richmond came in 1975, and during his pastorate plans were made for a new parsonage on Oakhill Ave. Ground was broken for the parsonage on June 3, 1979.

Rev. Loren Lewis was appointed pastor in 1978 and served two years. In 1980 Rev. Harry J.Naden came to us and served seven years.

On September 19, 1982, the mortgage on the church was burned. Our Silver Anniversary Celebration was held on July 17, 1983, with five former pastors in attendance. We were served by Rev. Thomas E. Lowery from July 1, 1987 to 1990.

A special tribute should be paid to the wives of the pastors who have served Asbury Church. They shared generously of their talents in music and leadership. Beyond all is the dedication of each member. Let us work together to become “one in the Spirit, and one in the Lord.” — Moving on in hope, unafraid.

On August 14, 1989 the mortgage on the parsonage was paid off by issuing bonds to members of the congregation. The last of the bonds were paid off on August 14, 1995 and celebrated on October 1, 1995 a “Debt Free Day” and potluck.

Anniversary Celebration Highlights

We celebrated our anniversary with a 50th anniversary with a celebration picnic and a time of worship lead by Pastor Ann Spindt.  During the worship service we recognized our Charter come to be known as Asbury United Methodist Church.  Our new Pastor, Wendee Nitz was introduced and the mantel was passed from Pastor Ann to Wendee.

Several of our former pastors were here to celebrate with us and share stories of their time here as Asbury.  The Asbury Quilters presented a hand made quilt to be hung in the gathering space in honor of our Anniversary.  A new banner was crafted by Jacqui Harding to depict our anniversary celebration and is displayed in the sanctuary.  In celebration , we have collected items that the congregation felt would be of interest to future generations of our Asbury family.  The items were placed in a chest/bench which will find a place in the Gathering space.

1958-1961 Rev. Royce Wade
1961-1965 Rev. William Morton
1965-1971 Rev. David Harsh
1971-1975 Rev. David Worm
1975-1978 Dr. Kent Richmond
1978-1980 Rev. Loren Lewis
1980-1987 Rev. Harry Naden
1987-1990 Rev. Tomas Lowery
1990-2000 Rev. Duane Andrus
2000-2008 Rev. Ann Spindt-Henschel
2008-2014 Rev. Wendee Nitz
2014 -Present Pastor Will Jewson

Associate Pastors
1970-1972 Rev. James Haggerty
2002-2004 Rev. Yul Kwon

Student Pastors
1983-1984 Lisa Joiner
1984-1985 Paul Newman-Jacobs
1985-1987 Susan Harris
1987-1988 Mark Klaisner
2007-2008 Krystal Bartlett

  • Church Info

    Pastor Will Jewson

    Asbury United Methodist Church
    1810 Kellogg Avenue
    Janesville, WI 53546
    (608) 752-7961
    Map Directions

    Sunday Worship 10:00 am
    For our Online Services Click Here
    Communion – 1st Sunday of the month

    Adult Sunday Class TBD

    Children’s Sunday School TBD

    Community Time  TBD