Over the past seven days and counting, people have been praying, worshipping and sharing testimonies in what has been described as an ongoing spiritual revival happening on Asbury University’s campus in Kentucky.
Students and professors joined in, and now there are eyewitnesses coming from all over the country to experience it themselves after watching the videos that went viral on TikTok. In fact, what has already been dubbed the Asbury Revival has started spreading to other college campuses around the country.
It all started on the morning of Wednesday (Feb 8). Students are required to attend a certain number of chapels in the schools’ Hughes Auditorium each semester. But that Wednesday was different.
After the benediction, the gospel choir sang a final chorus. But the students did not leave. They stayed and continued to worship. And as of the publication of this article – almost a week later – they are still there.
“Here is the most compelling evidence of authenticity for me,” said J D Walt, the former Asbury chaplain and founder of Seedbed.
“The first picture depicts the chapel immediately after the usual chapel service last Wednesday. Nothing impressive. Just another day. But then students for unknown reasons other than the hand of God began to come back to the chapel. They asked their professors if they could return — uncharacteristic to say the least — and within a few hours it was … the second picture.”
“It hasn’t stopped since then — 24/7. People are coming here from all over the country and world. Last night we opened up four overflow buildings and all were packed. Student groups from many campuses are here.
“It is clearly an outpouring of the Spirit but beyond that we are reticent to call it anything else. History can define it as it will. It is extraordinary and yet nothing new. Many of us have seen and experienced all that is happening here elsewhere. And yet none of us really have been in this kind of sustained move.
“The hunger of people coming from everywhere is enormous. It is characterised by exuberant worship, empowered by the Spirit – led by students, no production whatsoever … no screens or words projected, seemingly no song lists – they sing until the Spirit seems to give another song. There is a lot of prayer being led all over the house, there are testimonies given throughout the day. It is the holy love of God rising like a tide and rolling like waves.
“Jesus is the only celebrity here. No one even remotely considers the names of anyone in leadership here. They are not unseasoned, just unknown. Incredible humility characterises this whole move. This has been enormously disruptive to the life of the school but no one seems to care. There is a vigilance of love supporting these students.”
At the time of writing, videos under the hashtag #asburyrevival has garnered a total of 727.8 million views and counting on TikTok.
Tuesday night (Feb 14) capped the largest crowd yet: 3,000 worshippers piled into the college chapel and four overflow facilities across the college town. At least two-thirds of the attendants are from out of state, said university president Dr Kevin Brown.
Students and staff from 22 schools have visited so far, alongside groups from Hawaii to Massachusetts, according to university faculty. Visitors from Singapore and Canada are expected to arrive soon, they added.
OPEN THE EYES OF OUR HEARTS, LORD
Several pastors and Christian leaders from all over the country have flown to Kentucky to witness this move of the Spirit for themselves.
Rich Wilkerson Jr, lead pastor of Vous Church in Miami, posted a snippet of a moment in worship on his Instagram page, saying that he had flown into Kentucky to spend all night in prayer and worship with students on campus.
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Pete Greig, founder of the 24-7 Prayer Movement, also posted about his experience at Asbury while also addressing people who may be sceptical.
“I understand the cautious questions being asked in some quarters. These are natural and sensible. But after a quarter century thinking and praying about such things, and with much on my heart, for now I simply want to say just two things:
“Firstly, as has often been said, when it comes to reports of revival I would far rather be gullible than cynical.
“Secondly, we need this. What’s happening at Asbury is not everything but it is something and right now we need something to shock the system so that this generation can experience for themselves the life-changing power of God.
“We need repentance and holiness. We need the kind of outpouring of the Spirit on campuses that can incubate and detonate a new generation to preach the gospel with greater confidence, fight injustice with greater defiance, and transform society with greater intelligence.”
You can watch the live stream here: