Abernethy Memorial UMC is located on the corner of Main Avenue and 13th Street, in Newton, North Carolina. However, this isn’t where it originated. In 1912, an evening Sunday school class was organized in the home of the Rev. E. H. Spencer on Goshen Hill in Newton, NC. The class quickly grew and a store building was rented to accommodate the participants. As the group continued to grow, a lot was purchased on the corner of Ashe Avenue and West 15th Street. The church building, for what was then known as the First Methodist Episcopal Church, was completed in 1913. By 1916, an addition was completed as the congregation continued to grow. In 1945, the name of the church was changed to honor its generous benefactor, Julius W. Abernethy, Jr.
Construction for the present day Abernethy Memorial United Methodist Church building began in 1947. The building was dedicated on July 17, 1949, with the Rev. G. W. Bumgarner officiating. In 1955, a financial campaign began to raise money to build an educational building. That building was completed, and it was dedicated on May 4, 1958.
It took 46 years to amass the church’s current grounds and buildings. During this time, properties have been purchased, some have been donated, in order to continue the growth of Abernethy Memorial United Methodist Church.
In 2000, plans began for the building of a Christian Life Center, under the leadership of the Rev. Rick Mills. After a dynamic campaign, called “Together We Grow,” the groundbreaking for the new Christian Life Center was held on September 7, 2003. This building includes a combination fellowship hall/recreational facility, a kitchen, nursery, offices for the pastor and secretary, and multi-purpose rooms.
With a history of strong roots in North Newton, Abernethy Memorial is looking toward the future of the church and its community as the congregation seeks to grow spiritually and physically.