Asbury United Methodist Church

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Asbury United Methodist Church as it appears today.

Asbury United Methodist Church stands across from the Kankakee County Court House at 196 South Harrison Avenue, Kankakee, Illinois. A Circuit Rider first brought the Wesleyan Methodist religion to Kankakee in 1836. He organized a small group of early settlers and in 1855 they built a small brick church, the first in the city of Kankakee. In 1866, ground was broken to build the oldest part of today’s church, a beautiful sanctuary with numerous stained glass windows. In 1922, a graceful balcony was added, in 1925 the Parish House, and in 1958 a chapel. The final addition was a new education wing completed in 1965.

Asbury has had several names through the years. Following the Civil War, it was known as First Methodist Episcopal Church to differentiate it from the Methodist Episcopal South and Methodist Protestant Church. For a period of time it was Grace Methodist Church, but by 1939 the three Methodist branches joined to become one and Asbury became known as the First Methodist Church. In 1968, its name was changed to Asbury United Methodist Church following a merger with the United Brethren Church.

Asbury’s chancel choir is well known in the community for its musical performances. The chancel choir celebrates Christmas each year with a Madrigal Dinner. A beautiful tradition, in which the choir sings, serves dinner and celebrates the season.

There are many opportunities for fellowship at Asbury and members come from all areas of Kankakee County. They also offer an exceptional Child Care Service during the week. [1]


  1. The Daily Journal, February 19, 1989.