Students share how Asbury University revival grew their faith

Asbury Revival
Students crowd the altar at Hughes Auditorium at Asbury University during a revival event that began on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. |

Students gathered at Asbury University in Kentucky for the final day of the on-campus revival shared testimonies about being led by the Holy Spirit and how the consecutive days of worship brought them closer to Jesus. 

The Christian university was the epicenter of a revival movement that sparked in early February. Tens of thousands of people flocked to the small town of Wilmore for the revival, which started during a chapel session on Feb. 8 and inspired similar revival events at other campuses across the nation. 

Last Thursday, the university observed the national Collegiate Day of Prayer, which coincided with the final day of the impromptu 16-day revival that the school administration pushed off campus to continue elsewhere as students focus on mid-term exams. 

A senior sociology major at Asbury University named Nina took to the stage to share what she saw happen throughout the revival. She said she was present when the revival began and saw it grow each day.  

"And so, the first hour [of the revival], I was a part of the gospel choir. And we were just feeling led by the Spirit to just continue in song and worship and prayer," Nina shared. 

"It kind of felt like 10 minutes. But then three hours later, I just felt the Spirit told me to just 'look around,' and the same 20 students stayed and probably skipped their 11 a.m. [class], including me. And I just decided to ask the Holy Spirit what was happening and what I needed to be interceding for."   

 Asbury University Student
A senior sociology major at Asbury University in Kentucky named Nina testifies during the final revival service at Asbury on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. |

Nina recalled hearing the Holy Spirit tell her to pray for her peers "to be obedient, to stay calm and to spread the word to others" about what was starting to take place. 

"I prayed for that. And the second wave was just to ask for forgiveness for the things that we've done against each other and also just the grudges we had against each other and towards and the institution.' And then, ...  the third wave was just joy and confession and from confession comes joy," she continued.  

"I think maybe like the fourth hour, when students started to come in, in waves, I just saw a bunch of people jumping and praising God and just crying just because of the joy and the freedom that the Spirit was just pouring down."

The second day, she said, was attended mostly Asbury students and students from surrounding campuses.

"I just saw a lot of reconciliation," she said.

As she wrapped up her testimony, Nina said she prayed for people to experience the never-ending "move of God." 

"The same God that's here is moving in a lot of other places across the world and in other denominations and other homes. So, I just pray that your obedience being here and your obedience to listen to the Spirit doesn't just stop tonight and continues through your whole walk with Christ," she prayed. 

"I just pray as you continue to plant seeds in others' lives and also, as the Spirit plant seeds that you continue to water that in reading your Word and praying and intercession, going to your friends and asking questions. There's nothing wrong with asking questions and asking professors questions. Don't keep that to yourself. It's how the body of Christ grows. Use your gifts." 

Another student named "A.J." said he attends Indiana Wesleyan University, a private Evangelical Christian university located in Marion, Indiana. 

A.J. told the crowd about how he visited Asbury University last May while he was attending a conference in Kentucky. He recalled being in the same worship room where he prayed with some of his friends.

"We prayed the Lord would do this, right here," A.J. said, referring to the revival. 

A.J. said he was upset because of what he felt God was asking him to say 'no' to.  

"I sat back in that corner, and I laid on my face, and I was begging the Lord to do something, and I wish I could tell you it was this hopeful, expectant prayer. But, quite honestly, it was the worst couple hours of my life because I was so consumed with the costs," A.J. recalled.

"I cried at the loss of everything that I felt He was taking from me. And, in this moment right now, I just want you to know that when you step into the fullness of an answered prayer, the cost is so light. And so, as we leave this place in a little bit, do you feel the costs of what the Lord is asking you to say 'no' to?"

Asbury University Student
A student named A.J., who attends Indiana Wesleyan University, speaks at the Collegiate Day of Prayer event at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. |

A.J. urged the crowd to consider saying "yes" to Jesus even if what Jesus calls them to do feels like a "no." 

"I urge you brothers and sisters to not see it as a 'no,' but see it as a 'yes' that He is asking you to step into. There is a world out there that has no clue of the goodness that you and I have felt in this place," he said.  

"And so, I beg you right now, teachers make your classrooms sanctuaries, dads and moms, would you make your households temples? Pastors, would you begin to make your churches nothing but holy ground?" 

A.J. called on those gathered who "have experienced this goodness" to "step into our communities" and spread the truth to "our baristas, our cashiers and our waitresses and our neighbors and our friends and our families [who] have not heard it yet." 

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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