What began as a regular Wednesday chapel service at a Christian university in Kentucky has blossomed into a 50-plus-hour revival that was still ongoing Friday and drawing national interest.
The revival at Asbury University’s Hughes Auditorium in Wilmore, Ky., was being compared to past Asbury revivals, including one in 1970 that lasted 144 hours and led to canceled classes. In 2006, a four-day revival swept the campus.
Already, the 2023 revival has attracted people from neighboring states who drove to Wilmore to experience it. The university is non-denomination but “grounded in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition,” according to its website.
Alexandra Presta, the executive editor of the Asbury Collegian, wrote in a Thursday story that the revival has been filled with prayer, songs of worship, times of confession and testimony, and petitions for the nation and the world.
“I have embraced friends, cried with strangers and overall felt more connected to God than I have in a long while,” Presta wrote. “And I am only one person, one witness to healing and transformative action taking place on the carpets, against the walls, and between the wooden rows of seats.”
Presta said the revival is difficult to describe.
“It’s still hard to verbalize,” she wrote. “I’ve had friends across state lines text and call me, wanting an explanation for how and why God chose now to come in this way. I admitted to all of them a phrase I usually despise: ‘I don’t know.’”
Junior Abigail Glei told the Asbury Collegian that the revival has taught her a lesson about God’s sovereignty.
“He is teaching me to believe that He is in control and that I don’t need to worry,” Glei said.
Daryl Blank, pastor of Springdale Nazarene Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, drove two hours to experience the revival. Blank said he had trouble finding a parking spot outside the chapel.
“Worshipers stayed all night. It was apparent that these young people were not caught up in revival, but in the revival-er. God had come! Unexpectedly!” Blank wrote on his Facebook page. “No one person was in charge. No one dared to get in the way of what God was doing. Reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing were in this place. … An announcement was made that at least two other universities were bussing students to the revival and they were on the way.”
The revival, Presta wrote, will last as long as God wants it to last.
“As long as the Spirit calls for it, His children will remain here, allowing God’s overwhelming and holy love to fill hearts and touch souls,” Presta wrote.
Reporting from Christian Headlines.