How We Started
Almost 30 years ago, Madison began to grow from a small sleepy cotton town to a bustling suburb of nearby Huntsville, AL. Cotton fields were slowly turning into new homes, stores, churches, and schools. This growth influenced the desire to plant a church in the middle of these quickly expanding neighborhoods. Asbury United Methodist Church was launched on March 2, 1986, when 361 people gathered in a warehouse. Rev. Marcus Long preached the first sermon in what would become one of the most impactful churches for the Kingdom of God in the Tennessee Valley. Through Rev. Long’s leadership and the dedication, vision, and unified efforts of the first people to call this church home, Asbury has continued to move forward by strategically and intentionally making significant investments in the Kingdom work, both in the Madison area and around the world.
As God began to move in the hearts of the people of Asbury, they heard His call to expand. The church family faithfully responded to God, gave three times the amount of money above the goal that was set, and began constructing Asbury’s first building on Hughes Road. What seemed insurmountable, at first, became possible with God’s vision and the people’s faithfulness and generosity.
Asbury continued to grow through the 1990s. As people were drawn to the Asbury family, they continually sought to expand their capacity to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ. In 1997, God brought Dr. Alan Weatherly to lead the way into the future. In the twenty years of Dr. Weatherly’s leadership at Asbury as the Senior Pastor, the church now averages 2,200 in attendance, has seen over 1,200 baptisms, and over 1,500 professions of faith.
In 2018, Dr. Tommy Gray’s vision as lead pastor was to build upon a rich heritage of being a church family that will do whatever it takes to seek God, and go next door and around the world to love people like Jesus does. When Asbury was chartered in 1986, the mindset of the first church members was “building for our family’s future.” Carrying that mindset forward fits perfectly with Tommy’s passion to see Asbury multiply its influence and capacity to be a church that is known for God’s redeeming work in the world. With a plan to lead the Asbury family to live generously as we partner with God and live on mission, we pray to see spiritual awakening happen in marriages and families, our surrounding communities, and beyond. Drawing on our heritage from over 30 years ago, we will take great risks to see His transformation continue to spread beyond ourselves. We will leave a legacy that far outlasts us all, influencing future generations to pursue a life-changing and contagious faith.