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‘Revival’ Lasts For Days At Kentucky University

by | Wed, Feb 15 2023

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A Christian university in the US state of Kentucky is experiencing what many are describing as “a Holy Spirit filled revival”.

Students, staff and visitors have been engaged in non-stop worship and prayer in the Asbury University campus auditorium for nearly a week.

It began as part of a regular chapel service last Wednesday morning (February 8) and grew even bigger over the weekend.

Alexandra Presta, the editor of the student-run website The Asbury Collegian said around 30 students kept worshipping after the service and others then started joining them in petitions for the nation and the world.

She described the event as a mix of worship, testimony, prayer, confession and silence — “a full experience of the Holy Spirit.”

“As a senior, I have never witnessed anything like this.”

“Peers, professors, local church leaders, and seminary students surround me — all of them praying, worshipping, and praising God together. Voices are ringing out. People are bowing at the altar, arms stretched wide,” she wrote.

“A pair of friends cling to each other in a hug, one with tears in her eyes. A diverse group of individuals crowd the piano and flawlessly switch from song to song. Some even sit like me, with laptops open. No one wants to leave.”

Anneli White a student at the University of Kentucky told Kentucky Today: “The Holy Spirit was tangible in the room. Chains were broken, confession happened, and God was praised as holy, holy, holy.”

Students were bussed in from interstate universities while other believers drove huge distances from as far away as Oregon to experience the event .

Some have even slept on the floor of the auditorium while God is praised non-stop.

One visitor described it as “a pure act of the Holy Spirit pouring out love, peace and healing — hearts are being transformed.”

Most proclaim it as “a movement that only God could orchestrate and keep going.”

Asbury Professor of Theology Tom McCall calls himself an analytic theologian who’s “weary of hype and very wary of manipulation.”

He has a background in the revivalist segment of the Methodist-holiness tradition where he has witnessed “efforts to manufacture ‘revivals’ and ‘movements of the Spirit’ that were sometimes not only hollow but also harmful.”

He has regularly dropped into the ongoing service.

Professor McCall wrote in Christianity Today that: “Some people are calling this a ‘revival,’ and I know that in recent years that term has become associated with political activism and ‘Christian nationalism.'”

“Let me be clear: no one at Asbury has that agenda.”

“This is nothing like that. There is no pressure or hype. There is no manipulation. There is no high-pitched emotional fervour.”

“To the contrary, it has been mostly calm and serene. The mix of hope and joy and peace is indescribably strong and indeed almost palpable — a vivid and incredibly powerful sense of shalom.”

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is undeniably powerful but also so gentle,” the professor observed.

Daryl Blank, pastor of Springdale Nazarene Church in Cincinnati drove two hours to experience the event.

“Worshippers 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!” he wrote on social media.

“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.”

CBN News reports some local observers are saying the service is reminiscent of a famous revival that took place at Asbury in 1970, partly because both events are tied to turbulent times in American history.

That move of the Holy Spirit began on February 3 of that year and lasted 24 hours a day for seven days.

Asbury University has experienced seven other similar gatherings of non-stop prayer and worship for several days from 1905 to 2006.

It’s a private Christian university in Wilmore, Kentucky with its roots in the Wesleyan-Holiness Movement.