Asbury United Methodist Church

4004 Accokeek Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613, USA (301)-372-8891
Rev. Gladman Kapfumvuti , Pastor

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Our History



OUR HISTORY: 1870 - PRESENT
Somer’s Hill Methodist Episcopal Church was established one-half mile north of the present location in “Somer’s Hill” in the Piscataway District.  This was part of the Woodville Charge which included three other charges:Baden, Aquasco and Asbury.

 1870-1876:  The church was established on one and one-half acres of land North of the present location.  This land was donated by Joseph Parker and his wife to a group of men serving as Trustees of the Colored Episcopal Northern Methodist Church.

 These trustees built a small church on the property that year.  This church was a part of the Woodville Charge which included Baden and Aquasco.  Sister Cecelia Pinckney renamed the Church, Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church.  Brother Saul Moore was the first person buried in the cemetery west of the present building.

The following ministers served as pastors during this period; but the years and order of their service was not clearly revealed by the research:  Rev. Daniel Wheeler, Rev. Eden Hammonds, Rev. Abraham Tilghman, Rev. T. C. Booth and Rev. Joseph Ayers.


1906
A larger structure was built with a shingled bell tower (still in existence and usable today, 2006) replaced the small church in 1906.  The Church was later transferred to the Oxon Hill Charge.  This charge consisted of Chapel Hill, Oxon Hill and Asbury.  The minister of the Charge was Rev. E. M. Dent.  He was the first to initiate building funds for a new church at Asbury.  This church, which was the first church built on the present property, was parallel to the old structure.

 1910-1936
Several deeds were recorded during this period starting on May 16, 1914 through April 29, 1925.  Under the tenure of Rev. Fairfax F. King, the mortgage for this building was burned.  The church was transferred to the Brandywine Charge at this time and consisted of Asbury, Gibbons and Zion Wesley.  The District Superintendent at this time was Rev. Earnest Williams.  After Rev. King, several ministers served for a total of almost 35 years: Rev. A. D Brown, left to serve in WWI; Rev. Charles Toulson served 13 years; and Rev. Noah Barnes served 6 years.

 1925-1961
More land to expand the property was purchased from April 29, 1925 through March 17, 1959.  The present sanctuary was constructed during the early 1950’s under the tenure of Rev. William G. Simms who served for 25 years.  In 1947, a meeting was held at Gibbons Methodist Episcopal Church to organize an Usher Board to serve Asbury and Gibbons.  Pastor Simms served both churches.  The ushers served both churches for the next two years, with France Dabbs serving as the First President of the Usher Board.

The Usher Board grew and re-organized in 1950 and separated so that each church would have its own Board. Mrs. Elsie Fleet became President of the Asbury Usher Board.  A few of the active members at that time were: Elsie Fleet, Clayton Duckett, Alton Pinkney, Kermian Hawkins, Norman Wills, Helen Chase, James Algerna Moore, John Pinkney, Alonzo Neale, Lawson Pastor Simms conducted the marriage ceremonies and baptism of many present day members during his tenure.

 1962-1983
The new sanctuary was built in the same location as the previous Church.  The charge at this time changed to Brandywine-Wesley.  The present tower is a part of the old Church.  The mortgage for this church was burned on April 30, 1967, during the tenure of Rev. Robert O. Johnson. Mrs. Mary Lloyd and Emma Forest were the first members joining the church under the tenure of Rev. Johnson.


 Mrs. Lloyd requested a Flower Club to purchase flowers for the Altar each Sunday.  This club was established and later was renamed the Altar Guild.  This organization was used to raise funds for the purchase of flowers for the Altar each Sunday and other incidentals. 


The Altar Guild started the Prayer Breakfast as a fundraising event.  This Prayer Breakfast is still a tradition here at Asbury.  During Rev. Johnson’s tenure the first acolytes were organized.  Brothers Pedro and Timothy Hargrove served for many years.

1984
The charge was changed again to Brandywine-Gibbons.  Through the generosity of Mr. Walter Worthy along with the liberal contributions and hard work of the Asbury members, the church was again blessed on December 4, 1988 with the burning of the mortgage and dedication of the Fellowship Hall and Educational Building.  Asbury is also listed on the South County Black Historical Sites list published in the Prince George’s Independent on February 8, 1984.

 1984-1987
Rev. Jesse E. Mayes was the minister during these years.  Some of his accomplishments include organizing and holding the first 8a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services.  Saturday tutoring was started for elementary children.  He was also the first full-time minister.  Rev. and Mrs. Mayes were very strong advocated of the Sunday school and its expansion to include more classes.

 1987-1999
Rev. Albert Giles, Jr. tenure lasted more than 13 years.  He started the Warm Nights program and the food pantry, the purchase of our first Xerox machine and a room set up to house the materials and supplies.  He was a very compassionate person and always visited the sick and shut-in.  Higher Education Ministry was organized under his leadership.  He organized and implemented the first percussion instruments for the singing groups.

 2000-2006
Rev. W. Otto Kent was assigned to Asbury as Pastor and became a Deacon in 2000 and an Elder in the United Methodist Conference in 2004.  He spearheaded the purchase of 17 acres of land.  He organized and set up three Disciple Classes and expanded the classes to include a class for high school students.  Additionally, a mid-week Bible Study class has met regularly, although small in numbers.  Under his leadership the youth organized the CIA’s  (Christians in Action) singing group. Bongos were added to the instrumental section of the choir.  The first nursery was established for use during church worship services.  Scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors exceeding $500.  Children and Youth ministries continued to be vital with energizing participation in Church School, Vacation Bible School, Gospel Rock Retreats in Ocean City and various evangelism ministry events.   Automation of financial accounting and contributions was put in place.  Computers and e-mail were utilized as a means of enhancing communication between the pastor, congregation and conference.  A state-of-the-art copier was acquired; and multimedia recording and duplication of worship services was implemented.  A security system was implemented.  An administrative assistant was hired for the first time, and an administrative space was created out of the original kitchen of the Fellowship Hall.  A feasibility study was completed for expansion of the existing facility.

 2006–June 2010
In July 2006, the Rev. Dr. Priscilla I. Boswell was appointed Pastor. The first female pastor in the church's history, Rev. Boswell comes with more than 30 years of lay and ordained ministry experience in Christian Education, Church Administration, Leadership Development, and Biblical Teaching and Preaching. Several church revitalization projects have been completed, including refurbished church pews, new carpeting, new ceiling in the fellowship hall, remodeled bathrooms to accommodate the physically challenged, new handicap ramp, light dimming capability to enhance worship, color copier to enhance production of printed materials, and reorganization of financial accounting policies and procedures. Eight new ministries have been added to support members in the areas of abstinence, Alzheimer’s disease, bereavement, cancer, heart attack/stroke, HIV/AIDS awareness, health and wholeness, and interpreting for the deaf. Additionally, the Wednesday Night Bible Study membership increased from an average of 4 in July 2006 to 20 in July 2008.  This increase to Asbury’s distinguished legacy is God’s sign that the members of Asbury will carry forward a lasting foundation of faith celebration, faith connection, faith development, faith service, and faith sharing for future generations just as their forefathers and foremothers did.

 Rev. Boswell’s vision is to equip, empower, and energize the members of Asbury to achieve their goals to increase membership and expand facilities, to reach out to those who do not have a church home, to continue strong political and social action leadership for issues that impact community life and well-being, and to become one of more than 600 Acts 2 Churches in the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

July 2010-2013
Rev. Alhassan Macaulay was appointed by the bishop as pastor to serve Christ in the pastoral ministry.  He has served under appointment in the Baltimore-Washington Conference for four years.  Within the conference, Alhassan serves as a member of the Baltimore Metropolitan District Committee on ministry.  The gifts he brings to ministry include teaching, developing creative and vibrant worship services, pastoral care and outreach ministries.  He has a background in both teachng and counseling on both the secondary and collegiate levels.  He encourages laity to use their God-given talents and is committed to leading the church in outreach in the community.  He was ordained as an elder in 2009 and is the author of "Sermons for all Seasons".


July 2013- Present 

Rev. Gladman Kapfumvuti has been the Pastor of Asbury United Methodist