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By Kim Roberts
Reports from Asbury University say that a revival has broken out in the chapel of the small Christian college campus in Kentucky.
On the morning of February 8, a seemingly normal chapel service took place at the campus’s Hughes Auditorium. It included a message about confession and repentance, according to reports. After the service was over, a group of students stayed behind to continue worshiping. Then more joined them.
According to reports being shared on social media, students have been in the chapel for over 24 hours reading scripture, praying, singing, and sharing personal testimonies.
“God began pouring out his love among the students in a profound way. The students continued praying and worshiping even though chapel had concluded,” Asbury Theological Seminary Vice President of Formation Matt Barnes wrote on Facebook.
Asbury December graduate Elle Hooper told the Asbury Collegian, “I am one of many who have been praying for this since my freshman year. To be here and witness to this is life-giving.”
Senior Ashley Schumacher told the college paper she felt “the weight of the Holy Spirit” when she re-entered the Hughes Auditorium after the chapel service was dismissed.
During the Feb. 10 chapel, University Professor Greg Haseloff said, “The spirit of the living God has been in this room, filling the hearts of men and women who are seeking Jesus. God has surprised us. He has come near.”
Pizza, snacks, water, and coffee were provided at dinner time on February 8 for those who wanted to stay and continue participating in the revival.
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Asbury’s Facebook page didn’t have any accounts of the chapel service or revival posted. Asbury did not reply to a request for comment before time of publication.
Well-known author and pastor John Piper describes revival as “a fresh outpouring of God’s live-giving Spirit on his people.” He added that historically it has referred to “many Christians [being] lifted out of spiritual indifference and worldliness into conviction of sin, earnest desires for more of Christ and his word, boldness in witness, purity of life, lots of conversions, joyful worship, [and] renewed commitment to missions.”
Some are reminded of a revival that took place over 50 years ago at the college.
The Asbury Revival of 1970 also occurred in February that year after Dean Custer B. Reynolds invited students to share personal testimonies during the chapel service. What started was a revival that lasted for 144 hours. The chapel was filled with rejoicing people. Classes were canceled for a week. Even after classes resumed on February 10, Hughes Auditorium was left open for prayer and testimony.
It is also reported that 2,000 witnessing teams were sent out from Asbury to churches and colleges across the country.
Many pray similar results will follow this week’s Asbury revival.
“Praying this spark of revival at Asbury will ignite a flame on campuses across the globe,” wrote Byron Paulus, founder and executive director of OneCry, a group calling for a nationwide revival and spiritual awakening.
“I have prayed all my adult life that God would let me see one more great awakening before I leave this world. I am praying harder than ever that this is the beginning. Join me in praying, ‘Do it again, Lord. Do it again!’” wrote Rick McKinney, a former pastor who lives in Kentucky.
Asbury is a Christian university with about 1,600 students located about 20 minutes southwest of Lexington in Wilmore, Kentucky.
On its website describing the spiritual vitality on campus, it reads “Asbury University stands in the Wesleyan theological tradition—believing that an act of God’s grace upon which one receives the offer of salvation through the sacrificial life of Jesus Christ can indeed transform a human heart in such a way that through His mercy they can experience holiness of life, have a heart that exhibits His love, and become an agent of His grace for the advancement of God’s Kingdom here on earth.”
Chapel services are held three times a week on campus and students are required to attend.
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