Asbury revival: ‘A beautiful experience of seeking God’

WILMORE, Ky. (BP)—They came from far and near, from mothers carrying their infant children to senior citizens — all flooding into chapel at Asbury University Monday, Feb. 13, as a revival hit its sixth consecutive day with no hint of slowing down.

A whiteboard just inside the front doors of the chapel speaks to the impact of more than 120 hours of preaching, singing, testimonies and confession of sin. The approximately 4-by-5 1/2-foot board was jam-packed with praises and prayer requests, evidencing how God had moved during this extended revival time. One said, “pray for my family in Ukraine.” Others wrote …

• Salvation for our nation.
• Revival in Kodak, Tenn.
• Revival at Bethel University.
• Restoring marriage and future twins.
• Teen suffering with addiction.
• Dad saved.
• Isaiah set free.

At the 10 a.m. chapel service, the 1,500-seat chapel was filled — many of those seats occupied by Asbury students. After a message from Romans 13, Asbury students left to attend classes, being reminded that the next preaching service would be at 2 p.m. Those seats they vacated did not remain empty for long as people continued to stream into Hughes Auditorium, singing hymns of faith led by a small team of Asbury music students.

That worship time found young and old lifting hands and bowing heads in praise. The altar was soon filled with people bowing in prayer, often with one or two people praying with them. On the altar were numerous prayer requests written on sticky notes.

One young man was spotted in the rear of the chapel, jumping with joy as he sang. A young woman near him did interpretive movement to the songs. In the balcony, an adult male studied his Bible during the singing.

The revival fire began at last Wednesday’s (Feb. 7) chapel service, and word of it spread quickly on sites such as Kentucky Today as well as social media. Among those drawn to the service on Monday included:

• Susan Carson with her three children — Emma, 11, Cooper, 8, and Caleb, 6. They drove Sunday night from Brunswick, Ga., because Susan wanted her children, whom she homeschools, to experience the revival. She is a member of First Baptist Church in Brunswick.

• Carly Cawthon is an Asbury student who was there in February 2020 when the school celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Asbury revival. “I remember how amazing and exciting that week was, and praying so hard for a revival to fall again. I wanted so badly to experience the wonder and awe of the Lord in that way.

Little did we know what would come in just a month’s time and how the world was about to change.

“The revival at Asbury happened unexpectedly, just as the Scriptures say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart has imagined what the Lord has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). The revival crept up like a thief in the night, and there was nothing special about this week, no one could have imagined Tuesday or even Wednesday morning what was about to transpire in Hughes Chapel. And no eye has seen, no ear has heard the end of this. Revival is an ongoing process and my prayer for both myself and for this world in desperate need for a Savior, that the Lord will continue unfolding this and change the course of 2023 as we know it, changing us and our lives to be kingdom oriented. He’s truly the reason for living, and we are living out a glimpse of what eternity will look like.

• Hannah Dennison, from Akron, Ohio, read about the revival on social media and came alone — “everyone thought I was crazy,” she said. She left at 4 a.m. Monday to make the five-hour drive. “This is incredible — kids my age are repenting and getting connected with God. It’s so beautiful. You can see God is evident as soon as you walk in, you can hear His presence.”

• Jennie Allen, author and speaker and founder of “If: Gathering,” a Christian conference that gathers and equips women to live out their purpose, traveled from Dallas to “see a movement of God and tell the stories.”

• Amanda Adkins is an ICU nurse in Lexington. A native of Pikeville, Ky., she is part of the worship team at her church. She said there are many Asbury students and alumni at her church, and that her pastor encouraged members to attend the revival. “I came yesterday – I didn’t want to leave,” which prompted her to return on Monday.

• Emma Sparks from Ashland, Ky., was with a group of Boyd County High School students who received permission from the principal (and their parents) to be there Monday. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing — we took two cars and drove two-and-a-half hours.” She was one of five high school senior girls on the trip, with the other being a college student who is an older sister to one of the girls.

“God is moving — if we can bring this back home, maybe it will spread across our country.” She said she encourages those in her hometown to “go and feel the Spirit for yourself.”

• Allison and Adleigh Edwards drove from Scottsville, Ky., because they “wanted to be a part of the Holy Spirit moving. We saw videos (of the revival) and just started bawling,” said Adleigh.

The 10 a.m. chapel session focused on the theme of “Love in Action.” Students and attendees are told “our ultimate allegiance is not to this world, but to God. Paul said visible love to the whole world is what we see here. Anything we put our allegiance in, unless it is to God first, is misplaced allegiance.”

Campus chaplain Greg Haseloff said the events at Asbury provide “such a beautiful experience of seeking God — it is holy ground. It will continue to be a place of worship and prayer.”

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