Wesley United Methodist Church, Lexington, Kentucky, has a proud history with some of the printed records showing roots tracing back to as early as 1779. Wesley’s growth emanated from the first Methodist Society in Lexington. Other names for the early church include the Coloured Charge, Old Branch Church, Old Mill Church and Asbury. In 1789 the first Methodist station in Kentucky was started with 47 White members and 30 Black members. Formed from the nucleus of those thirty Blacks, Asbury was organized in 1837. The first permanent house of worship was built around 1850—The Old Branch Church, located on Branch Street between Limestone and Walnut Street. Gunn Tabernacle Methodist Church grew out of the “Old Branch Church.” After the Old Branch Church building was no longer usable, the members continued to worship in an old flour mill on Walnut Street which had the name the Old Mill Church. When the Old Mill Church had more members than the building could accommodate, a request was made at Conference to divide the membership. Thus, a group moved their membership to the east-end section of town called Gunntown. Winn Gunn, a local white Methodist preacher, gave the congregation property on Deweese Street Continued at Wade and Locke Street. Church records indicate that Mr. Gunn personally helped to put the edifice up and “Gunn never ceased to be thankful to this generous man who helped our spiritual leaders to put the kingdom of God in action among our people. The Gunn Tabernacle congregation remained at its location until re-merger with the Asbury congregation. Before abandoning the Old Branch Church, a lot was purchased at the corner of Mill and Hill (High) Streets. In 1887, a new Asbury edifice was completed. The congregation remained at that location until 1963 when it remerged with Gunn Tabernacle to form Wesley. The two congregations bought a building at 530 Walnut Street and chose the name Wesley United Methodist Church. In the late 1980’s, plans were made which ultimately led to purchasing our present site at 1825 Russell Cave Road. In June 1990, Wesley moved into the building we are currently occupying.
The current congregation of Wesley United Methodist Church is a well-blended combination of other congregations as well. For instance, when the Haven United Methodist Church (Cadentown) officially closed in 1997, most of the membership united with Wesley United Methodist Church. The Cleveland (Riverhill) Methodist Church, was in Madison County, just south of the Kentucky River on US 25. When it was officially closed in July 2001, most of the membership merged with Wesley UMC. When the Brick-By-Brick United Methodist Church was dissolved, many of its members also joined Wesley. Most recently, the dissolution of the Nia Community of Faith led to more members joining our Wesley church family. Together we have grown into the Wesley United Methodist Church who… “INVITES you to share Christ’s love…INSPIRES you through meaningful worship…INCLUDES you in a caring community…INSTRUCTS you as a disciple of Christ….and INVOLVES you in significant service.” Throughout the many years of our fruitful existence, Wesley and its earlier congregations have been blessed with many impressive leaders. Following is a list of the pastors who have served Wesley since 1963: Rev. I. R. Sumner (1963-1967); Rev. Raymon E. White (1967); Rev. George D. Walker (1967); Rev. Glenn L. Lyles (1968-1971); Rev. Robbie Dix, Jr. (1971-1976); Rev. George L. Russell (1976-1984); Rev. Austin V. Ray (1984-1991); Rev. Edgar A. Brady (1991-2000); Rev. Kenneth W. Cummings, Sr. (2000-2004); Rev. Edgar S. Goins, Sr. (2004-2014); Rev. D. Anthony Everett (2014-2018); Dr. Sunday Daleng (Present-).
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