A days-long chapel service at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky is ongoing after it initially attracted hundreds of people to join for 24/7 prayer and worship.
The spontaneous revival broke out at the evangelical college in Kentucky and is poised to break the 144-hour record of a similar spiritual awakening that occurred on the university’s campus in February 1970. It is also going viral as Christians around the world, desperate for one on a global scale, follow the story.
A regular chapel service that began Wednesday morning at the campus of about 1,600 students turned extraordinary when a group of students stayed behind in the university’s Hughes Auditorium to continue worshipping. The message that morning had focused on confession, repentance, and love in action, based on Romans 12.
“God began pouring out his love among the students in a profound way,” Asbury Theological Seminary Vice President of Formation Matt Barnes wrote on Facebook.
More students joined, and then more.
“It really resonated with us,” said Alexandra Presta, an Asbury senior and executive editor of The Asbury Collegian, the student newspaper. “We’re all encouraging each other to have this posture of radical humility. It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. And I think that’s why it continues.”
People have been flocking to the campus on Wednesday nights for worship and prayer in broken revival services that have sparked interest and enthusiasm among those attending. The continuing flow of people to Asbury University has shown that revival can sweep through even a small college campus as it did when it first came to life at the university. With hundreds now attending each night, Asbury University has become an example of revival sweeping through even the smallest places.
What started as a regular chapel service quickly became mandatory, as church groups came in to fill packed out revival meetings. It all began at the Asbury College Chapel in one more routine meeting, but soon filled up the university’s Hughes Auditorium with crammed busloads of groups of students. The college kids have reportedly been skipping classes just so they can get a seat and take in the revival service.
The university faculty members are also attending, and their support has shown the students that this is more than just another chapel service. Other campuses have become interested in what is happening at Asbury University, and the buzz has spread around campus and beyond.
The Asbury University revival began in the early 1900s when faculty toured churches and colleges throughout many evangelical organizations to spread the word of faith. Held annually, these scheduled revivals brought guest ministers to campus for a week of powerful prayer and worship. In addition to the regularly scheduled chapel service held by Asbury College, teams of students and faculty would tour churches in order to begin revival services.
The Pentecostal revival would last for one week as guest ministers stayed with students and faculty at the college.
As the revival swept its Kentucky campus, church groups and students from Asbury University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Baylor University and other colleges across America spoke of their experiences in revival. Three Asbury students recalled being moved when the Holy Spirit descended on the campus and then spread to other nations colleges. The student body was many and came from as far away as Texas.
A professor from West Coast Baptist Theological Seminary said that he had never experienced a revival like it in all his years of ministry. With this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, college campuses across America were changed forever.