Story written by Steve Warren and Benjamin Gill
The revival currently taking place on the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, is being compared to the culture-changing revival at the same college in 1970, but there’s something different this time. The new non-stop prayer and worship awakening has social media as a powerful ally, and that didn’t happen in previous historic campus revivals.
The impact has already been so powerful that this ongoing Spirit-led event has drawn the attention of major media outlets.
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But it’s also drawing a wider worldwide audience, particularly of young people, to witness what is happening through firsthand accounts, photographs, and videos with many of these posts going viral.
People are even traveling thousands of miles to the Kentucky campus to take part in the revival after seeing viral videos on the social media platform TikTok, according to NBC News.
“It has absolutely been social media that is the mechanism that people found out about this,” Mark Whitworth, Asbury University’s vice president of communications, told the outlet.
Social media aside, what’s happening at Asbury is being called a genuine move of God – the real deal – for multiple reasons. There’s no high-profile leader, and there’s nothing glitzy going on either. Asbury’s chapel is configured simply. There are no large projection screens or fancy lighting. It’s just persistent prayer, heartfelt worship, an open altar call, and wooden sanctuary chairs filled with people who are hungry for God.
Yet this sincere move of the Holy Spirit has gone viral. On Instagram and TikTok, videos hashtagged with the words “Asbury Revival” are drawing millions of views. CBN News checked Instagram Thursday morning for #asburyrevival. There are more than 1,000 videos currently circulating on the site. On TikTok, the same hashtag had more than 24.4 million views as of Wednesday.
And that’s not all. Just type in “Asbury Revival” on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube to see multiple posts and videos of the revival.
These videos have sent the revival around the world, stirring up spiritual hunger in the hearts and minds of viewers everywhere. The response of many users has gone beyond the typical “Like” or comment on the videos. It has caused some to make a personal trek to Asbury to see for themselves, according to multiple reports.
Nick Hall, an attendee who purchased a one-way plane ticket from Minneapolis when he saw a viral video on Instagram, told NBC that the gathering was notably low-key for something that people are calling a “revival.”
“This is acoustic guitars, pianos, and very noncharismatic speakers. This is as un-sensationalized as it could be,” he said.
WKYT-TV reports people from all across the state and the country have traveled to the Asbury campus to take part in the worship service. People from as far away as Oregon showed up to sing, raise their hands in praise, or kneel down to pray.
“No big lights or big media or anything like that. It’s proof the Lord is working. Right now. Amazing to see. We just wanted to be a part of that desperately,” said Aniston McClellan who traveled from Nashville.
While the word has clearly spread like wildfire, University President Dr. Kevin Brown told NBC the school made the intentional decision not to publicize the event on their own, “because we wanted to place an abundance of respect towards the experience of our students.”
Classes have continued at the school, but Brown told local news outlets that the faculty is “being very flexible and understanding if students would rather be at the chapel than in class.”
Besides the regular three hours of weekly live-streaming from the chapel, all of the videos seen online have some from people participating in the service.
A Twitter user named DrMalachi.eth, a self-proclaimed revival storyteller tweeted a video of the worship service happening from Asbury chapel.
“On Super Bowl Sunday there was super praise rising at Asbury. Q- Why is worship and adoration crucial? A- Because the Lord inhabits the PRAISE of His people. When Jesus is in the room. Time does not matter. What song or hymn is your favorite right now?”
Brian L. Powell, the superintendent of the Kentucky District Church of the Nazarene, a network of over 100 congregations across the Bluegrass State, tweeted: “Joy, purity, unity, passion—a few words that come to mind in describing the Asbury Revival. The Holy Spirit is resting on this place in a special way. Call it revival. Call it what you will. All I know is that we need more of it.”
Greg Gordon, a contributing writer to The Christian Post, tweeted: “‘The atmosphere thus far seems sincere with many praying outside in the chapel lawn with all sanctuaries on campus full.’ This is a ‘fresh wind of revival’ for America and the world. Let us not miss our chance to be renewed to our first love with Jesus!”
On Thursday, Gordon in a follow-up tweet wrote, “7 days of revival 24/7 (170+ hours and it still continues!) #asburyrevival.”
“Don’t worry revival will continue with or without someone calling it revival. God is not hindered by key board revival theologians while He pours out His Spirit” – Brent Williamson.”
Anna Lowe, the managing editor of the student-run outlet The Asbury Collegian, published an op-ed after her visit to the ongoing worship service in the campus’s Hughes Auditorium Wednesday, recalling her summer camp days and how the concept of a “Jesus high” was discussed. She described this “high” as “an adrenaline rush from lack of sleep, excitement from newfound knowledge, and the fulfilling promise of the Holy Spirit.”
The Collegian’s managing editor also reminded her fellow students that the most dangerous aspect of this Jesus high is that it eventually goes away.
“We must ensure that our community does not drift in a similar direction,” Lowe pointed out. “When the dust settles, and Hughes is empty, what will remain? We must answer honestly, are we pouring out our affection and devotion on the feet of Jesus or onto ourselves?”
“Jesus is working, and the Holy Spirit is moving in Hughes. But He is always moving everywhere. God is using this revival in incredible ways. There is reconciliation, confession, and soulful worship. But I pray we do not turn this revival into a prolonged event for its own sake and forget that genuine revival is initiated and sustained by the living God,” she wrote.
Lowe pointed her readers to Proverbs 1:22 in the Bible’s Old Testament.
“This month, my mind constantly returns to The Call of Wisdom in the first chapter of Proverbs. A question Wisdom cries out in verse 22 calls to me in particular, and it floods my thoughts constantly,” Lowe wrote. “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?”
She asked her fellow students to seek wisdom.
“We cannot think about this revival simply. Think deeply about the call in our hearts and this moment in the perspective of eternity. Seek understanding contextually, historically, and spiritually in this moment. A holistic mindset is required when seeking the Truth. Before you post, before you pray over others, before you share your testimony, please seek Wisdom. Do not be complacent or accepting of what you hear at face value. Deep comprehension will make this revival a more fruitful and lasting experience for everyone.”
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