Asbury United Methodist Church:
Archives and History Center
||926 Eleventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20001-4488
||Lonise Fisher Robinson, Church Historian
|Hours of Service:
|Third Tuesday of each month
(except summer months):
|11:00 a.m.--2:00 p.m.
|Open to the public:
||By appointment only
Calls for requests are accepted at any time. Small amounts of
material may be copied in the History Center.
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- Reference Policy:
- Telephone reference calls are screened in the church office
by the secretary, then passed on to the church historian. Mail
and on-site reference is provided.
- Borrowing Privileges:
- Not a lending institution.
- Background Note:
- The congregation, founded in 1836, traces its origins to the
Foundry Methodist Episcopal Church (now Foundry United Methodist
Church). It is one of the oldest African American churches in
the District of Columbia, with a small collection of materials
on other African American churches and their histories. The name
has changed several times: Asbury Aid Society, Asbury Chapel,
Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, Asbury Methodist Church, Asbury
United Methodist Church.
- Books and monographs:
- About 50 annual journals. These are historical church publications,
such as Asbury United Methodist Church Silver Anniversary
and Asbury United Methodist 130th Anniversary, 1966.
Other publications include celebrations, family directories, brochures,
flyers, bulletins, programs dealing with conference activities,
the work and history of the church, and important events in race
relations in the District of Columbia. The materials in the collection
were published during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Items are listed in a card catalog, and will eventually be
in a computer catalog.
- Periodicals and newspapers:
- The Archives and History Center has 2 current subscriptions,
the Baltimore-Washington Connection and the Washington
Historical Society Bulletin, and a retrospective collection
including many of the newsletters of the congregation. These include
The Asbury Messenger, Asbury's Newsletter, The Asbury Communicator,
The Asbury News, The Asburyan, The Press, and The
United Methodist Reporter. Methodist publications are available,
such as the Official Discipline of the United Methodist
Church and the Official Journal of the Baltimore-Washington
Annual Conference. Also included in this collection are
the minutes of the Administrative Board, directors, trustees,
and ministers' wives associations, as well as reports dealing
with the financial, programmatic, and outreach aspects of the
Church's work. The collection is particularly strong in newsletters
from the early 1930s, when the church had a large congregation
and was very active.
Materials are listed in a card catalog, although some items
- Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
- About 60 shelves of archival material including personal papers
of congregants, membership, confirmation, marriage, and baptismal
records, all dating from the 1930s to the present. Unfortunately,
earlier records were destroyed. There are about 6 shelves of materials
relating to African-American church history. These include committee
records, special events, albums, and books. The more important
of Asbury's archives have been microfilmed and are available at
the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.
Archival materials are listed in a card catalog.
- Videos and Sound Recordings:
- The Center has 14 videotapes of the church's sesquicentennial
and several videotapes of musical concerts, etc. The church also
has a tape ministry program consisting of worship services beginning
in the late 1980s.
Materials are listed in a card catalog.
- Vertical files:
- Four drawers of books and papers in a fire-proof file cabinet,
including a memorial book containing a letter signed by Mary McLeod
Bethune (a member of the church while she was in Washington D.C.).
This material is uncataloged.
- Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
- Eight files of snapshots of church activities; about 15 framed
pictures of earlier activities; and one carousel of slides. The
oldest of these materials dates from the early 1900s.
Materials are listed in a card catalog.
- Other holdings not listed above:
- Architect's plans for the church building, plans for the 1972
educational center, information concerning the renovation of the
Casavant organ, and electrical renovation of the church schematic.
African American churches; African American Methodists; Asbury United
Methodist Church; Church history--Washington, D.C.
Sluby, Paul E. Asbury: Our Legacy, Our Faith 1836-1993:
The History of Asbury United Methodist Church, Washington, DC. Washington,
DC: The Asbury United Methodist Church, 1993.