Over 200 Auburn University Students Baptized in Impromptu Spiritual Move

Originally published September 19, 2023 7:30 am PDT

In a turn of events that few could have predicted, more than 200 Auburn University students were baptized at a recent campus worship event.

The spontaneous act of faith took place last Tuesday near a lake on the university grounds in Auburn, Alabama, with the ceremony illuminated by car headlights, according to The Washington Times.

The surprising occurrence transpired just half a mile away from the “Unite Auburn” event, a part of a broader city-wide spiritual revival.

The night at Neville Arena saw a packed crowd as the Christian worship band, Passion, and prominent Christian figures such as author Jennie Allen and Rev. Jonathan Pokluda from Harris Creek Baptist Church in Texas took to the stage.

The lake, situated close to the university’s “Red Barn,” buzzed with activity as an approximately 2,000 to 2,500 students and community members gathered.

Among those facilitating the baptisms was Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze.

Videos and photos shared on social media platforms depicted the immense support and joy, with large cheers every time a student was baptized.

Auburn senior and editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman, Kristen Carr, revealed in her conversation with The Washington Times she went to the rally “originally just as a spectator” but decided she “needed to start covering this and videoing because it was so unusual. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

Tonya Prewett, the main organizer and spouse of assistant basketball coach Chad Prewitt, highlighted the event’s primary intention: offering solace to students grappling with post-pandemic stress and isolation.

She shared, “We had stories of kids who were isolated in their closet and just feeling like they can’t cope, they can’t go on, they don’t want to live another day,” and mentioned the struggles of some with debilitating addictions.

Prewett, who has been praying and mentoring students since the start of the year, initially intended for the “Unite Auburn” event to conclude with a few worship songs.

Yet, the night took an unexpected turn when a student expressed a desire to be baptized.

Following this, Allen extended an invitation from the stage, leading to nearly half of the 5,000-strong crowd heading to the lake.

This spiritual resurgence is not exclusive to the university.

According to Carr, local churches like the Auburn Community Church she attends are witnessing record attendance.

“It’s not just my church, it’s a lot of the churches in the area,” she noted, with many institutions needing to resort to live streaming due to overwhelming demand.

Jeremy Napier, the Auburn basketball team’s chaplain, mentioned an increase in fraternity groups attending church services.

Drawing parallels with historical revivals, Carr stated, “it’s like the Billy Graham thing of our generation,” referencing the renowned evangelist known for large-scale conversions.

Believing this is the commencement of a broader spiritual movement, Prewett expressed her conviction: “I do believe that God wants to heal this nation of mental health things, of the bondage that students find themselves in and just kind of the crisis is going on around our nation,” adding, “it started here, but it’s not going to stop here.”

This sentiment seems to resonate with other educational institutions.

Reports suggest that ten other schools have already reached out to the Auburn organizers for guidance on hosting similar events.

Student Michael Floyd captured a poignant moment on camera when Coach Freeze participated in baptizing a football player.

Sharing his views with Fox News Digital, Floyd said, “This was a great moment of Auburn being Auburn! Thousands gathered to unapologetically seek Jesus, and hundreds took their next step.”

Kenzie Gay, an Auburn University senior, described the atmosphere that night: “Everyone was just in awe of what God was doing that night,” with fellow student Mateo Arenas emphasizing the spontaneity of the baptisms: “What was so great about these baptisms is that it wasn’t a planned religious event, it was just a whole bunch of college students moved by their desire to follow Jesus.”

Echoing similar spiritual occurrences, February saw an unprecedented spiritual surge at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.

The private institution suspended classes for two weeks, witnessing an influx of believers from various parts of the country and even internationally for a round-the-clock prayer gathering.