Students have worshipped at this school for nearly 2 weeks. Here’s why — and what will happen next
People have traveled to Asbury University from around the world to witness the Asbury revival
Students at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, have been worshipping together for nearly two weeks as visitors from around the world have flocked to their small campus to see the revival in action.
This week, the Asbury revival, which has also been called the Asbury outpouring, will come to an end after campus leaders raised safety concerns.
“Students have not only had to juggle various campus commitments … but also the throngs of people who have entered the dimensions of their space,” Kevin J. Brown, the university’s president, said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “For some, this has created a sense of being unsettled and even alienation from their campus community.”
Evening worship services on Tuesday and Wednesday will still be open to members of the public ages 16 to 25. Others are invited to watch a livestream of the on-campus events from other locations, the Asbury University website explains.
On Thursday, the Asbury revival will formally conclude with a prescheduled service tied to the National Collegiate Day of Prayer. Beginning Friday, there will be no more publicly accessible services, the website says.
“As we enter the third week of this renewal movement, our desire is to be faithful to our mission as a student-centric Christian University,” Brown said in his statement.
The Asbury outpouring began Feb. 8, when several students stuck around after a campus chapel service to continue praying and worshipping together. Hours and then days passed, as news of the remarkable gathering spread on social media.
“The revival ... disrupted life and brought national attention to Asbury, an evangelical Christian school in Wilmore, Kentucky, about a half-hour outside of Lexington,” Religion News Service reported last week.
As the buzz surrounding the gathering grew, so too did the crowd inside and outside the chapel. People came from across the country and around the world to see members of a famously less religious generation praising God — and to praise God alongside them.
“We wanted to be there, to have our presence there, to have Gen Z basically know that we are standing with (them),” said Ashlee V. Grant, who, along with her family, traveled to Asbury from Columbus, Ohio, to The Washington Post.
Some younger visitors brought the spirit of the revival back to their own campuses.
Revivals were once a common part of religious life in the United States. Preachers would travel across the country to speak to large crowds about how to get right with God.
“Revivals often happened when people felt things had gone wrong and were trying to recapture something that had been lost,” Religion News Service reported.
Andrea Turpin, an associate professor of history at Baylor University, told Religion News Service that revivals used to take place about once per year at religious colleges like Asbury.
“You would cancel classes (and) you’d have prayer meetings,” she said.
Asbury University’s most recent revival took place in 2006 and lasted four days, according to The Washington Post.