Through the vision of Dr. W. L. Murphy in 1957, a small group of residents from the Woodhurst-Alanton area of Virginia Beach began holding Sunday School and morning worship in one of the resident’s homes. Attendance grew and the need soon arose for a larger meeting space. Through arrangements with the Princess Anne School District, Sunday morning services were moved to John B. Dey Elementary School on North Great Neck Road.

In June 1959 at the Annual Virginia Conference, Dr. Murphy presented the church membership and requested a minister be assigned. The Reverend Edward J. Taylor was sent by the Conference and tasked with organizing the church. During that summer, the Norfolk District Board of missions purchased a parcel of land along North Great Neck Road directly across from John B. Dey Elementary School for future development of the church.

Prior to chartering, a meeting was held and the decision was made to name the new church Francis Asbury Methodist Church. On October 25, 1959 the church was chartered with 51 members. Membership on the orginal charter was left open until November 29, 1959 at which time there were 58 members.

The young church began to flourish and a decision was made by the members to fund and construct a building that would house a sanctuary, Sunday School classrooms and a kitchen. In May 1962 the new building was consecrated on the land that had been purchased three years earlier.

In April 1968 the name of the church was changed to Francis Asbury United Methodist Church when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church merged.

Membership in Francis Asbury United Methodist Church continued to grow and in March 1970 a Charge Conference of the church decided to expand the church building. A new 400 seat sanctuary was funded and construction began in April 1973. The new sanctuary was consecrated in February 1974.

In 1994 our church expanded again with the addtion of the “Chapel In the Woods”, a beautiful outdoor worship area in the rear of our property overlooking the water. Through the efforts of our members and Boy Scout Troop 63, the Chapel In the Woods has become a corner stone of our summer worship services where our informal early service is held from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It is also the setting for Easter Sunrise Services. It is a setting to behold as you praise the risen Christ while overlooking the Lynnhaven river as the sun rises behind you.

Finally, in March 2001 the newest addtion to Francis Asbury United Methodist Church was consecrated. A new 10,000 square foot educational wing and social hall were added through the hard work, sacrifice, commitment, prayer and support of the congregation. Our new addition is a shining example of our members’ devotion to bringing Christ’s light into the world.Francis Asbury UMC

Over the past 50 years, Francis Asbury United Methodist Church has grown from humble beginnings in a member’s living room to a vibrant and dynamic congregation of over 600 members. We offer the city of Virginia Beach, and the Great Neck Road corridor specifically, a variety of programs centered on the United Methodist belief that we are all disciples of Jesus Christ. We welcome all to come to visit and worship with us.