Asbury United Methodist Church – Church Construction
Asbury United Methodist Church | 850 Dodge Road, Amherst, NY 14068
With community support, congregation has new home in Getzville
The church moved several times throughout the end of the 20th century, worshipping for a while at Gateway-Longview and also at a building on Millersport Highway.
Members were contemplating adding on to that building when their neighbor, Uniland Development, offered them a land swap. Uniland obtained their old church building and the land associated with it and built them a new church at 850 Dodge Road in Getzville.
But Uniland was just one of many entities that helped the church settle into its new home.
“This isn’t the church that we built, it’s the church that God built,” said the Rev. Jackie Ann Rose Kraft, Asbury’s pastor.
People from the Chapel at CrossPoint helped obtain upholstered chairs for the church, which are used in place of pews and in the lobby. They also provided guidance on purchasing audiovisual equipment.
Pastors from several of the neighboring churches attended Asbury’s groundbreaking ceremony.
“You just ask, and people want to be involved,” R e v. Kraft said. “People are relatively good. You just have to give them a chance.”
Members of the congregation made the official move to their new home on May 30, which happened to be Rev. Kraft’s birthday. The sanctuary is furnished with a baptismal font from the Humboldt Parkway church and a gold cross from the Sweet Home location, mounted on wood to match the interior of the Millersport Highway location.
It has some new fixtures, including a cherry pulpit and lectern that were built in memory of Rev. Kraft’s father, and in honor of her mother. It also has a special feature that isn’t visible to the casual observer.
“We all wrote our prayers with magic markers on the floor,” Rev. Kraft recalled.
Members of the congregation, the family who owned the land where the church is now situated, and the couple who were the first to be married in the church all wrote on the floor before it was carpeted. The prayers of the congregation and their helpers remain underneath as a powerful metaphor for the foundation of all the church’s activities.
The new building also includes multiple classroom spaces, a nursery, a kitchen and a large lobby. The congregation views the building as a tool to help the community.
“You can’t just be a church just sitting. You’ve got to say, ‘How can we serve the community?’” said Rev. Kraft, who is working hard to reach out to different groups.
She’s seeking to serve graduate students trying to balance a young family with their studies. She’s met with the Boys and Girls Club. She’s loaning space to a scrapbooking teacher and an SAT tutor. She’s also hoping to work with the Amherst Center for Senior Services and to plant a community garden on the church’s grounds.
“It used to be about going to a building; now it’s about going out to the community,” said Rev. Kraft.
“It’s about reaching out and making discoveries. We have the opportunity to do things here that we couldn’t do elsewhere because we were so small,” added lay leader Charles Syms.
Property Use:Institutional — Faith Based