Students raise their hands in worship at Samford University.
photo provided by @frcdc
Students gather for a prayer session at Lee University.
photo provided by @bryancutshall
Over the past month, the word “revival” has been all over Christian news. On February 8 at Asbury University in Kentucky, a regular tri-weekly chapel service was held. However, at the end of the service, the students didn’t leave but continued to worship. They poured out their hearts to God, worshiping, praying, journaling, and being with each other in Christian community over the course of eleven days. The services didn’t end until February 19, when Wilmore began to overflow with curious and hungry-for-God travelers. The university did not initiate the revival; the students did that all on their own.
“There were about 50,000 people there towards the end and it was amazing when you think of how many people were saved,” Alex Janus, who attended The King’s Academy in eighth grade and now attends Asbury University, said. He said that at first, having so many people in the small college town of Wilmore was overwhelming with little to no security, and privacy became more of an issue once people started pouring in. However, he believes that the revival was a good thing that God made happen, and he is grateful for it.
Lee University in Tennessee and Samford University in Alabama had revivals of their own, similar to the goings-on at Asbury. At Samford University, revival began in a similar way to Asbury, starting a week after the Kentucky college began worshiping. Lee University saw revival starting on February 13. The spiritual occurrences spread across social media, even giving eyes into spontaneous public worship in Times Square in New York City, Mexico, and Israel.
“[After it started], word spread around campus and eventually off campus to the rest of the world,” Janus said.
The revival seemed to have been centered around Generation Z - referred to across social media and pop culture as “Gen Z” - which has been widely regarded as a generation obsessed with technology, hookup culture, substance abuse, and partying. Many members of this generation were certainly revived in their faith during the eleven-day service, with several coming to Jesus during it. Teachers and faculty at the colleges impacted were surprised and touched by the raw, newly revived faith of the students. According to CBN News, alumni, pastors, and busloads of students from other schools came to Asbury to see the revival for themselves.
“The overall experience was mixed from a student’s perspective, but I met many people who came from far away who were amazed, and it was beautiful,” Janus said.