This month marks the first anniversary of the biggest US revival in more than half a century. The around-the-clock prayer and worship only lasted 16 days at Kentucky’s Asbury University, but its impact is still being felt. One huge benefit is that Asbury’s enrolments have soared by 25% this year.
President Dr. Kevin Brown says there’s a feeling of expectancy on the campus. He told CBN News: “Our students continue to be hungry. They continue to lead. They’ve gone and they’ve shared. We’ve had over 50 groups go to different ministries and churches, both in the United States and overseas.”
“For 16 days and nights, students and others worshipped and experienced the presence of God. What began as student-led prayer at a scheduled chapel service on February 8, 2023, led to something extraordinary,” reported CBN News.
The Christian broadcaster quotes 20-year-old sophomore Riley McChord as saying: “God turned my world technicolour and I don’t know how else to describe it, but prayer came alive. I saw physical healing. I saw cancer off somebody’s neck be removed. I saw emotional healing, relational healing. There were two other girls and now my boyfriend and we spent literally every waking moment there. We did not sleep, and we stayed there for two weeks.”
Another 20-year-old, Caleb Rushing, remembers the revival as “an overwhelming glimpse of just God. His goodness, His mercy. His grace. His firmness. It was a glimpse of what heaven’s going to be like when we get to just reign and dwell with God forever.”
Twenty-one-year-old junior Lauren Bixler said she experienced God in a new way. “I don’t think I’d ever experienced that type of love from God before. I thought 100%. I’ve done too many things. I’ve messed up too many times, I’ve too far gone. I thought all of those things, and yet God met me with such grace and compassion,” she recalled.
As the one preaching on the first day of the ‘revival,’ Pastor-in-Residence Zach Meerkreebs took some time to realise what was happening. “I knew we were encountering something, but it was halfway through the weekend when I was like, this is really special.”
The pastor observes that feeling is still in the air. “The temperature on campus is unbelievable, but what’s exciting is they’re longing for authentic long-term steps, not just 16 days of power and encounter. They’re wanting to pursue holiness. They want to be done with porn. They want to be done with addiction to their phones. They want to be done with those kinds of things. They want to really have an authentic walk with the Lord.”
When asked if he thinks there will be another outpouring or revival, Asbury’s President Brown said, “I don’t know, but I will say if it does, it won’t be because we plan it. It will be because that’s what the Lord chooses to do.” He revealed to CBN News that from his perspective, a key generation found itself at the centre of the revival:
“During those 16 days, there was always Gen Z represented at the altar. And the very last day that we had a formal service together, I’ll never forget, someone stood in front of all these students, 1,500 Gen Zers in the room, and said: You will not be the generation defined by depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicidal ideation.”
”And to hear a cry come up from that group, someone said, if we had the spiritual eyes to see it, we would’ve seen an altar filled with loosened chains. That’s my heart. That is the heart of the people around me, that this is a burdened generation, but God wants to use them, and we need to invest in them,” Dr. Brown declared.
Photo: Facebook – Asbury University