For those who have been praying for a spiritual awakening in the United States, some first fruits might be occurring at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.
A student chapel service at the non-denominational Christian university that began last Wednesday morning has been going nonstop since.
“No one even expected this to happen. Not on a random Wednesday for sure. Yet, we sit and sing about God’s love pouring out and His goodness,” Alexandra Presta wrote in The Asbury Collegian.
“As a senior, I have never witnessed anything like this. I’ve heard about it from alumni, especially those who have come to chapel and spoken about their experience with the Revival of 1970,” she added.
Tomorrow will begin a seventh day of this days-long revival service at Asbury University.
— Chad Hedrick (@ChadHedrickWKYT) February 14, 2023
“God is moving among us,” Asbury student Zeke Atha said. “He’s healing people. He is saving people.”
Atha shared that students from the University of Kentucky and other schools are traveling to Asbury’s campus to see what God’s up to.
THE FIRE IS SPREADING. Reports say students from more than 21 colleges have now arrived at Asbury University in Kentucky for revival services. Just imagine what will happen if this spreads nationwide. pic.twitter.com/CNI81puhYT
— Lee Grady (@LeeGrady) February 12, 2023
Asbury Theological Seminary professor Jason Vickers offered a firsthand account in a Facebook post.
“Two things stood out to me. First, there was a noticeable lack of tension in my body. I was completely relaxed. There was also a complete lack of mental tension or distraction. My mind was at utter peace. And I had only been there for ten minutes,” he wrote.
“The second thing I recall thinking is that I could sit here in this chair forever. The desire to linger indefinitely was quite unexpected. I had planned to pop in for a few minutes before returning to work. Suddenly, work was the farthest thing from my mind,” Vickers continued.
“I wound up staying for well over an hour. In the time that I was there, I could not get over certain distinctive qualities about the atmosphere. The words that came to mind were: gentle, sweet, peaceful, serene, tender, still. Some people were singing. Others were talking. Many were praying. But there was something like a blessed stillness permeating the place.”
In Asbury they just opened a 3rd chapel for “overflow” ?
A baptist pastor there said: “The Presence is just hovering.”
— Greg Gordon (@gregjgordon) February 14, 2023
WKYT-TV reported, “Since Wednesday, the phenomenon has spread all throughout social media, with churches and other campuses bringing busloads of people to the chapel.”
Lloyd Ninaber told the news outlet that he had never heard of Asbury before, but after seeing social media posts about the revival, he drove seven hours from North Carolina to witness it for himself.
“With what’s going on in the world and all of the darkness, this was like light and light coming through,” Ninaber said. “So I wanted to see what was going on, and see God moving.”
“The Holy Spirit was tangible in the room,” University of Kentucky student Anneli White told Kentucky Today. “Chains were broken, confession happened, and God was praised as holy, holy, holy.”
Reports of revival breaking out and pray it spreads into an awakening across our entire nation.
The presence of God is so strong at chapel service at Asbury University that people haven’t left and it has gone on for 70 hours so far. pic.twitter.com/t5vzv6KROV
— Matt Brown (@evangelistmatt) February 11, 2023
Graci Bradley, a student at Eastern Kentucky University, told the Baptist Press, “Seeing people from every nation, tribe, and tongue, and from all different generations, was a glimpse of heaven. It was very encouraging to see that everyone was there for one common goal — to give God glory.”
Kentucky Today reported that parents of Asbury students are also traveling to campus to participate in the revival.
“Driving into Wilmore was like driving into the ‘Field of Dreams.’ If you build it, they will come … an unending line of cars,” said Mori Crawford, whose daughter Eliza is an Asbury student.
Christian leader Dutch Sheets, who hosts an online weekday devotional, discussed the Asbury revival meeting on his Tuesday program, saying it seems consistent with a vision God showed him back in 2001 of revival breaking out on college campuses.
“Ongoing worship and passion for Christ led by the students, heartfelt contrition and repentance of sin, the obvious lingering presence of Holy Spirit, grassroots-led versus initiated and controlled by individuals, such hunger for his presence that classes are canceled — these characteristics all describe what I saw in the vision,” he said.
His friend Rick Curry sent him a firsthand account of testimonials being offered at the meeting.
“I am listening now to testimonies of the fire of God transforming lives. A young female student who was full of fear and suicidal just had a radical encounter of the love of God setting her free,” Curry wrote Sheets.
“A young lady who came to the revival from Indiana testified she was standing on the outside wall … when a lady with a young girl ran towards her from the other side of the room. The young girl had a rare disease, and her mom felt this lady was to pray for her. Turns out the lady is a doctor who specializes in that specific disease, and the daughter was completely healed.”
Curry shared on his Facebook page the testimony of a college student named Gage who drove over six hours to see the revival.
The young man who came to faith in Jesus Christ a year and a half ago shared that he felt like God said to him, “Gage, this is revival. It isn’t hype. It’s ordinary people crying out for a move of God in our generation!”
“Revival’s real. It isn’t just a story we’ve heard about. It’s come, and it’s not just come here today, but it’s about to spread out to the nations! It’s about to spread out to the United States,” Gage exclaimed.
On Asbury University’s website, the school chronicles that revivals have broken out on campus several times over the years, starting in 1905 and most recently in 2006, when there were four days of continuous worship.
In February 1970, in the midst of the Jesus Movement in the U.S., classes were canceled for a week as a revival went on for 144 hours.
Scenes from Asbury revivals 1970 & 2023. Methodists know how to revive! pic.twitter.com/j6Jus8Z8me
— Leah Payne (@drleahpayne) February 11, 2023
The U.S. has experienced major Christian awakenings and revivals going back to colonial days that brought millions to faith.
Those included the Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s and the Second Great Awakening, which began in the 1790s and continued into the 1840s.
Philadelphia resident Benjamin Franklin wrote concerning the Great Awakening in his autobiography:
“It was wonderful to see the Change soon made in the Manners of our Inhabitants; from being thoughtless or indifferent about Religion, it seem’d as if all the World were growing Religious; so that one could not walk thro’ the Town in an Evening without Hearing Psalms sung in different Families of every Street.”
He recounted that evangelist George Whitefield, a friend of Franklin’s, traveled throughout the 13 colonies, drawing large crowds as he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Other major revivals occurred in the early 1900s; the late 1940s and 1950s, during which evangelist Billy Graham played a prominent role with massive indoor and outdoor events; and in the late 1960s and early 1970s during the Jesus Movement.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.