Asbury United Methodist in Smithfield is an intimate, gospel-centered community that cares for its members like family.
“I’ve never felt so much love in a church among the members,” said music director Jim McCarver.
Although Asbury is a member of the N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church, McCarver says the sermons are likely more evangelistic than those at other Methodist churches.
“It’s so nice to worship in a place where you do know everyone,” he added.
The Rev. Richard Charles Hill Jr., pastor, focuses on evangelism, the gospel and community. “The welcome and love you will receive from our church family is truly led by the spirit of God,” he said.
Name of church: Asbury United Methodist.
Year founded: 1955; new sanctuary completed in 2001.
Address: 215 E. Caroline Ave., Smithfield. That’s at the corner of South Bright Leaf Boulevard and Caroline Avenue.
Affiliation: N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Contact information: 919-330-5129, 252-678-2457, firstname.lastname@example.org, asburyumcsmithfield.org
How many members? 90-100 on church role; average attendance, 40-50.
Pastor: The Rev. Richard Charles Hill, Jr., 56, has been a pastor most of his adult life, mostly in Eastern North Carolina. Born in Smithfield and reared in Wayne County, Hill is the son of a former Methodist pastor, and one of his brothers is a pastor too. He graduated from North Carolina Wesleyan in 1988 and Duke University in 2011. Hill came to Asbury in 2011. He lives in Goldsboro with his wife Michele, who is a teacher in Wayne County. He has two grown children, Richard Charles Hill III and Michele Emily Hill.
What sets the church apart? We are loving church; everyone is family and treated as such. When one is in need, all are and come together to do what is necessary. Sometimes being small is a blessing; this is not saying we do not want to grow because that is our desire – to grow and be able to reach out to more people. It is one of our goals to participate every week in soul-winning visitation where we present the gospel to individuals.
What’s the church’s message? Our main focus here is to present the gospel message to as many people as possible. We accomplish this through a variety of methods. The sermons here are evangelistic messages with the hope of souls being saved as a result of our service.
Special programs: Sunday School at 10 a.m.; Bible study at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with choir practice at 7. The United Methodist Women’s Ministry has two yard sales annually, one in the spring and one in fall, and the proceeds go to aid in missions and sick and shut-ins with fruit and needed supplies. The United Methodist Men’s Ministry has an annual barbecue chicken dinner.
Special events: Every fifth Sunday we have a covered-dish meal after the morning worship service, and we usually try to have special guest for those services too. Three to four times a year, we try to have gospel music concerts. And as always, food afterward.
Sunday worship: 11 a.m.
Recent sermon: “The Final Judgment,” from Revelations 20:1-15.