Universities nationwide experiencing ‘a spirit of unity and confession’ spurred by Asbury revival

Students at Samford University worship at Reid Chapel as part of revival service.
Students at Samford University worship at Reid Chapel as part of revival service. | Bobby Gatlin

As Asbury University's revival continues to draw interest worldwide and expands to new locations off campus, other Christian academic institutions inside and outside Kentucky are also experiencing similar gatherings of spontaneous worship among students.

Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, is just one of the campuses seeing a move of the Holy Spirit. A series of regular prayer and worship services began last Wednesday following a morning prayer gathering.

Bobby Gatlin, a campus pastor at Samford University, told The Christian Post that their nightly prayer and worship meetings began “very organically” last week when “a Christian ministry class prayed for God to bring a spirit of revival to campus similar to what was happening at Asbury.”

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“One by one, God began to create a sense of expectation among individual, disconnected students. On Wednesday night, a student brought a few friends to Reid Chapel to play piano and guitar for a time of personal worship,” Gatlin said.

“As they sang, another student arrived to pray for revival. Soon a few others joined, and God began to move. As our men’s basketball game was ending, text message group messages began to circulate telling students to stop what they were doing and get to Reid Chapel.”

According to Gatlin, hundreds of students made their way to Reid Chapel last Wednesday, with testimonies, Bible reading, worship and prayer lasting until 3 a.m.  

“At least five students have given their lives to Christ in the services, and a spirit of unity and confession continues to fill the space,” Gatlin added.

Samford continues to have services organized by students held mainly at night, with people coming to the chapel for quiet prayer and worship throughout the day.

Gatlin also told CP that campus leaders have expressed their “complete support and encouragement,” as Samford President Beck Taylor “has participated on multiple occasions along with other faculty and staff.”

The Asbury University revival has also influenced the students at Lee University of Cleveland, Tennessee, who have seen their campus as a place of extensive prayer and worship.

A worship service at Pulse of Minneapolis, Minnesota held in response to the Asbury University revival in February 2023.
A worship service at Pulse of Minneapolis, Minnesota held in response to the Asbury University revival in February 2023. | Pulse

Rob Fultz, a campus pastor at Lee, told CP about how a group of students who had watched the events of Asbury “asked their professor if they could go to the chapel and pray that God would move on our campus as well.”

“The professor said, 'yes.' The class of eight to nine students went to the chapel and began to pray. Within a couple of hours, the room started to fill with students, faculty, and staff,” Fultz added, describing the continuous time of prayer and worship at Lee as “a predominately spontaneous movement of prayer” and “a beautifully sacred movement” that continues into this week.

“We currently are not incorporating worship teams, speakers — other than some students, faculty or staff — or scripted worship service,” Fultz told CP.

“It is still going on. However, as the week progresses, I do anticipate the administration updating the schedule and availability to the public.”

Fultz noted that the campus administration “has responded with overwhelming support,” adding that they were “working hard to ensure students are being served well and supported fully.”

The revival has also spurred some churches and other ministries to hold services, including Pulse of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a ministry centered on reaching out to young adults.

Nick Hall of Pulse told CP that, after visiting Asbury, he and other leaders of the congregation “felt led to change our regular, monthly college and young adult service in downtown Minneapolis to simply make space for God to move.”

“The elements were simply Bible, prayer, worship and repentance. We said we would stay as long as people were hungry,” said Hall regarding last week’s service.

Holding the service “felt like we opened a hospital,” he added, as hundreds of people “flooded our space for 53 hours, non-stop,” with more than 50 people making professions of faith.

“At times, the space was overflowing with 500 plus. At other times it dwindled to 20, but every time we thought we would end, someone else showed up needing prayer,” said Hall.

“We are working with the leaders at Asbury, praying for next steps and potentially helping to lead a gathering at Rupp Arena. We are also working with leaders across the nation wanting this to spread.”

Their service lasted until Saturday at midnight, with Hall telling CP that while Pulse “doesn't have firm plans” on next steps, he believes “this certainly isn’t ending.”

“It’s about people turning to Jesus, and God pouring out his love,” he added. “I believe this is about God healing His people. So many have been wounded and jaded, especially over the last few years.”

“This is a moment to encounter the healing power of the love of God. It’s about us being filled, not so that we go back into striving and doing ... but filled until it overflows into those around us.” 

Were you there? Use #MyRevivalStory to share your story.

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