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About thirty-five years ago, according to an article appearing in the Oxford Press in 1870, many of the negro fraternity had permanently located in the northern and western end of Little Britain, as well as in the southwestern end of the adjoining township of Drumore. In the year 1840 many of these families were visited by Elder Peters, a negro Divine of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who held meetings in the houses of Stephen Batchelor, Irwin Craig, Jacob Mitchell and Samuel Donell. These meetings were continued at intervals until the year 1842, when Irwin and Jane Craig, for a consideration of six dollars, sold one-eighth of an 'acre of ground for burial purposes and upon which to erect a church building. This deed was written by John Webster, Esquire, and the trustees named therein were Samuel Donell, William Wilson, Daniel Webster, Henry Bradford and Jacob Mitchell.
The meeting house-a log structure, one-story in height, twenty- five by twenty feet in its dimensions, was erected about the year 1842, and named Asbury, in the honor of Francis Asbury, the second Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church (white) in America. The money to erect this building was collected by subscriptions -principally by Jane Craig, who claims to have built the meeting house. It was consecrated and dedicated by Elder Golden, in the autumn of 1842, and meetings have been held at this place ever since. At the time this house was built, or soon afterwards, the congregation consisted of sixty-eight members; now it numbers about thirty-one. Formerly this meeting was embraced in a circuit comprising four other churches. Of late years the circuit became too large and the congregations at Welsh Mountains and Hilltown were embraced in another circuit farther to the north. At the present time the elders preaching at this place have charge of the churches at Hosanna, near Lincoln University.
The Elders having charge of Asbury since its formation are as follows:
Elder Golden, 1842
Elder Adam Drier, 1844
Elder Daniel Shorter, 1846
Elder Adam Drier, 2nd time, 1848
Elder Barney, 1850
Elder Young, 1852
Elder Hubbard, 1854
Elder Waters, 1856
Elder John Henson, 1858
Elder Andrew Till, 1860
Elder Laws, 1862
Elder John Stevenson, 1864
Elder John Cuff, 1868
Elder William Williams, 1870
Of the many Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but two have visited this locality. These were Bishops Nazareth and Wayman. Within the last twenty-eight years the members of this church have held four Camp Meetings, lasting seven days each, and three Bush Meetings, averaging two days each.
The first interment in the cemetery took place the year after the purchase of the ground. It was the body of a man named Daniel Jay. There have been but two local preachers belonging to this congregation. They are Jermiah Proctor and Thomas Wilson. Class leaders: William Wilson and Thomas Wilson. The Trustees at the present time are William Wilson, Stephen Chew, George Anderson and Thomas Wilson.
A Quarterly Meeting is held here four times a year, which attracts Negro people from a distance of many miles.
Church services were disbanded prior to 1870.
1 Oxford' Press, 1870, by Dr. Charles H. Stubbs.