LAFAYETTE, ASBURY Lafayette Louisiana

Lafayette, LA


Date Founded:  1955
Property was purchased on Johnson St. in Lafayette in 1954 for $2000 by the Lake Charles DS for church expansion. In mid-1954, Rev. R.R. Branton, DS of the new Lafayette District, sold the property because it was in a poor location. He purchased property on Live Oak Blvd. for $13,000. An organizational meeting was held at Morgan Hall's appliance store on May 1, 1955. At Rev. Branton's invitation, 37 people responded and the Asbury Methodist Church was formed. The name "Asbury" was suggested by Doris Branton.
In May 1955, Rev. Howard Hudson was appointed as Asbury's first pastor. Services were held for 6 months at the concessions building of the Twin Drive-In Theater. The first service, on June 5, 1955 had 65 adults and children in attendance. The 75 member congregation decided to build a church with $47,000 borrowed and $10,000 from the 1000 Club. Groundbreaking ceremonies were on August 14. On December 11, 1955, the first services were held in the new building. After one year, the membership had risen to 256. In 1956, Rev. Byrl Moreland was appointed pastor. During his 6 year tenure, membership rose to 574. Two wooden buildings were constructed to be used as Sunday School rooms. A parsonage was constructed in 1956 at a cost of $17,000. In 1961, arrangements were made to construct an educational building. In 1962, Asbury Day School was begun. Under Rev. Robert McCammon, who served from 1962 to 1966, groundbreaking ceremonies for a new sanctuary were held on November 30, 1965. Rev. George Ross, who followed Rev. McCammon, preached the first sermon in the new church in 1966. By the end of Rev. Ross' 6 year tenure, the church membership had risen to 1999, a new parsonage was built, a youth activities building was built, and more programs were added.
When Rev. James J. Caraway served, the first church bus was purchased. At the end of Rev. Caraway's tenure (in 1977), the membership stood at 2153. He was followed by Rev. Clyde Frazier. While he was there, the wooden Sunday School buildings were removed. From 1979 to 1988, Dr. Ray Branton was appointed to Asbury. He purged the rolls, reducing the membership number to 1806, and then to 1741. But by the time he left, membership was up to 2231. Dr. Branton increased morning worship to 3 services and 2 Sunday School hours. An administration building was constructed and more property was purchased.
Source: Asbury’s Journey: 1955-1990