Spontaneous revival ongoing in Kentucky

Published 3:45 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Columnist

On Feb. 8 at an ordinary, scheduled chapel event at Hughes auditorium, a spontaneous revival broke out at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Those in attendance did not want the service to end as they claim they felt the palpable presence of God.

As I write this article a week later, the revival is still ongoing and has held vigil day and night since its initial conception. Thousands have filled the church to unite in communion with the Holy Spirit, worshiping with ongoing praise music, sharing personal testimonies, occasional sermons, while praying for one another, offering free food and basking in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Attendance has been so numerous that the Fire Marshall of Wilmore has said the auditorium will have to close because of fire hazard if aisles and doors are not kept clear. Thousands of pilgrims are making the journey from across the United States to the point of a continuous line coming out of the door. Two other buildings have been opened nearby to help with overflow.

Speakers and attendees alike, are from diverse backgrounds and age groups, worshiping together in different languages and worship styles.

Some are referring to the spontaneous revival as the Third Great Awakening, referring to revival movements that occurred during the 1700s. Both the First and Second Great Awakening had key foundational take-aways, including every person in born a sinner, all people can be saved if they confess their sins to God, seek his forgiveness and accept his grace, all people can have a personal connection with God, religion should not be personal instead of formal and institutionalized.

One woman that spoke at the Asbury Revival on Wednesday called people to stop putting their churches, institutions and families before Jesus saying, “Jesus must come first.”

Revival famously swept across Asbury University in 1970 with classes being canceled and revivals spreading to other campuses. Jim Shores, an associate professor at Asbury noted that one speaker during the ongoing revival was also present during the 1970 Asbury Revival.

“She said, ‘I never thought I’d live to see this happen again in my lifetime, but here it is and it just gives me so much hope (for this) next generation.”

Asbury students are being accredited for helping to spread the revival by use of social media. Live-feed videos of the revival can be found online which are sharing worship with the world in real-time.