Our faith history has similar parallels to the biblical story of the Israelite exodus from Egypt. We too have been sojourners and travelers in a foreign land looking to God for a new place to call home. Not surprisingly our church has worshiped in permanent and temporary locations over the years only to press on to a place we could call our own once again. Our congregation has always believed in serving others in the communities we worshiped in over the years. Our time of wandering in the desert so-to-speak started approximately in the late 1800’s and graciously came to an end in our current building in 2010. Through all of the changes and moving from one community to another our church has shown great faith in God and demonstrated resiliency on our part to keep pressing on!!!
With that being said, our history goes back to the days of the Linwood Avenue Methodist Church. It was here that our spiritual forebears were seeking to establish a Methodist presence in the increasingly popular Humboldt Park area of the city of Buffalo. It was then that a fledgling Sunday school class was established led by one of the founding members, Willis F. Glaser, on November 12, 1893. It was here that a small group of religious scholars ministered to the spiritual needs of nearby people in a building located at Humboldt Parkway and Woodlawn Avenue in the city of Buffalo. At that point in time there were 30 members that served in the Humboldt Parkway community. Shortly thereafter a Mission was organized on June 5, 1894 wherein the first trustees were elected and on August 12, 1894 a chapel on Humboldt Parkway near East Ferry Street was established. On March 17, 1896 the Mission became a church and the name given to it was the Humboldt Parkway Episcopal Methodist Church. The congregation grew, making it necessary to plan for a larger place to worship. A new site was located on the corner of Humboldt Parkway and Woodlawn Avenue. This new church building was constructed for $34,000 and on March 4, 1912 it was dedicated for the glory of God. Serving as the pastor at this time was the Reverend J. T. Cameron. The congregation remained there for 50 years. During those fifty years, it was truly a community church. Befitting the era there was no such thing as a parking lot and most worshipers simply walked to church because they lived in the neighborhood.
It was during the late 1950’s and 1960’s that the suburbs began to grow exponentially. Families, businesses, and churches began to move away from the city of Buffalo and found residence in the suburbs. As the neighborhood changed so did the picturesque Humboldt Parkway community as well. It was in August of 1962, that construction on the Kensington expressway began in earnest thereby diminishing greatly the church’s visibility and prominence in the local community. It was during the ministry of the Reverend Calvin DeGraw that the congregation had to make a major decision. To remain in the city of Buffalo or to move to the suburbs and start anew? It was decided then to sell the Humboldt Parkway building and relocate to the suburbs. Those plans were birthed in the early 1960’s and an era was coming to an end for our church in the city of Buffalo.
In August of 1962, new property was purchased on Sweet Home Road in Amherst, NY. While we were waiting for our new church to be built in 1962, worship was held in the Boys Club on Northland Avenue. It was right across the road from Sweet Home High School in the fall of 1963 that our church was finally built. Not surprisingly we became the Sweet Home Methodist Church. It was at this location that we served the community from 1963 through the early 1990’s.
It was in 1991 that a new start-up church called St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church began holding church services in the Beechwood Residence auditorium. This church was formed to strategically minister to the residents living in east Amherst that were not being currently served by any United Methodist church. St. Andrew’s vision was to build a new church in northeast Amherst.
With those plans in place it was determined in June of 1993 that the Sweet Home United Methodist church would combine with St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church to form a new church. The Reverend Bill Grossman (pastor of St Andrew’s) continued as the pastor of the newly formed Asbury United Methodist Church of Amherst. Circumstances forced the congregation to leave the church building on Sweet Home Road prior to the completion of the new building. During 1996 through 2002 the congregation met at the Sweet Home Masonic Temple and then later on at Gateway Longview for Children, on Main Street in Williamsville. The congregation celebrated the opening of their new church building on September 28, 2003 when they held their first worship service led by the Reverend Jackie Ann Rose Kraft on Millersport Highway in Getzville, NY. Again we very active in our community. We worshiped here from 2003 through 2010. With Providence at work we moved to our current location on Dodge Road in 2010. With the Lord’s blessing and direction we pray that this current location will be our home for many years to come!