Asbury's Story

Methodism in Allentown traces it's routes back to the Muffley house on Walnut Street, where in 1842 the Methodist Society meets for the first time. It continued to grow, moving into a meeting house at Law and Linden Streets in 1844. In 1872, the Chew Street Methodist Episcopal Church (Calvary) building was completed.

By the 1900s, the Calvary congregation continued to grow, and the church purchased a new site at Hamilton and Jefferson Streets (where the Allentown Library currently stands). With this purchase, the Linden Street congregation agrees to merge with the Calvary congregation at the new location. The cornerstone was laid in 1921, and on October 1, 1922, the $283,000 "magnificent dream" building, named for Francis Asbury, was dedicated.

Asbury continue to thrive in Allentown and in 1962, dedicated a new Gress-Miles organ. That organ filled the cathedral with wonderful music. As the church was preparing to celebrate it's 50th anniversary in 1972, the church was destroyed by a fire on October 22.

In the aftermath, the congregation decided to move to a new location at Springhouse Road and Walbert Ave, where ground was broken for the new church in 1974. Bishop James Ault consecrated the new building on December 7, 1975. The move to this location helped Asbury to grow and flourish, adding additional services and crowding facilities. In 1988, ground was broken for the Phase 1 expansion of the Master Plan, adding additional classrooms and new office space, along with an elevator. Bishop Susan Morrison consecrated the expansion on September 17, 1989. 

Growth continued as Asbury added a fourth Christmas Eve service in 1991, and a third Sunday morning service in 1992. A vision came to live in the form of a Memorial Garden in 1993, and the parking lot was expanded in 1994. To meet the changing needs of the church, ground was broken in 2002 to add more classrooms and the Wesley Center. This addition, and renovations to the Sanctuary Chancel area were completed in 2003.

Continuing to change, Asbury added a modern Sunday morning service in 2009, and went to six Christmas Eve services in 2010.



Asbury's Historical Timeline    Minimize

Landmark Dates for Methodism in Allentown

1842 - Methodist Society meets in Muffley house, Walnut Street

1844 - Dept. free meeting house completed at Law and Linden Streets

1868 - Second story added to Law and Linden Street meeting house

1872 - Chew Street Methodist Episcopal Church (Calvary) building completed

1907 - Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church purchased new site at Hamilton and Jefferson Streets. Linden Street congregation agrees to merger at new site

Old Asbury

1921 - Cornerstone laid at Hamilton and Jefferson Streets.


1922 - October 1 - Dedication of $283,000 "magnificent dream" building - named for Francis Asbury

1962 - Gress-Miles organ dedicated

1972 - October 22 - Asbury destroyed by fire

New Asbury

1974 - Ground broken for new Asbury church, Springhouse Road and Walbert Avenue

1975 - December 7 - Completed structure consecrated by Bishop James Ault

1988 - Ground broken for Phase 1 of Master Plan

1989 - September 17 - Completed structure consecrated by Bishop Susan Morrison.

1991 - First year of four Christmas Eve services as Asbury.

1992 - Third regular Sunday morning worship service added.

1993 - Asbury's Memorial Garden dedicated

1994 - Parking lot expansion completed

2002 - Ground broken for Wesley Center addition

2003 - Completion of Wesley Center addition and Sanctuary Chancel renovations