Asbury Revival

Wednesday, February 8th I preached to 500 students at Northpoint Christian School in Southaven, MS. As I closed my message, I mentioned the revival that took place in 1970 at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY. Just thirty minutes after I finished preaching in chapel service to those students at Northpoint Christian, I heard about how God was moving on the Asbury campus once again. My passion and heart have been for revival the majority of my ministry. I pray for it daily. I knew I had to visit Asbury.. 

I started to make plans to leave Monday morning, February 13th. When I arrived at Asbury, it seemed like a normal college campus with students walking around, making their way to class. It was when I I walked into Hughes  Auditorium, that I immediately noticed something different. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon this chapel, which seats 1,500 people, was almost full. I began to weep as I experienced for myself what I’ve been begging God to do for all these years. I knew I had seen God move before, but it was nothing like this. 

Later that afternoon as I leaned against the wall in that packed auditorium, there was a moment where a college student I didn’t know came over to me and shared that he felt confused. He went on to explain that he attended college at Ohio State, but had felt God leading him to Asbury.  This college student even shared with me that he had been drunk in a bar that Wednesday before when chapel service began at Asbury and never ended. It was my honor to have the opportunity to pray with him. 

I lingered in Hughes until 1:45 Tuesday morning.Those around me continued worshiping and praying. When I came back later that morning around 10, there were students on their knees praying. I witnessed a time of many individuals confessing Idolatry , adultery, and other sins. I returned home, but God led me to visit Asbury again that following Sunday. I am thankful for those He used to provide a way for me to return. This time I stood in line for three hours with people from all over just to get into the chapel. The next morning, the crowd had grown even larger and I had to go to the overflow section because the chapel was at capacity. 

As I have begged God to send revival through my years of ministry, I have also studied past revivals where He has answered similar prayers of His children. This outpouring of God’s Spirit at Asbury reminds me very much of the revival in Wales with mostly prayer, worship, confession, and testimonies with some preaching throughout. The preaching I witnessed at Asbury was nothing of “great power” nor was the worship anything “exceptional,” but if you were present, there was no doubt that God was in the room. Nothing else mattered.  

What I have learned in my passion of studying revival and praying fervently for it, is that if God shows up, people will come. What began on the Asbury campus on Wednesday, February 8th  wasn’t hype. It was simply people hungry for God. 

Although Asbury is no longer holding these services on their campus, their president Kevin Brown made a statement, “We didn’t start it and we can’t end it.” We are left with the question… Will Asbury be a moment or a movement? I believe with all my heart that the answer to that question depends on how the Church responds. Will people try to market and commercialize this move of God’s Spirit or will the Church get desperate enough to cry out, asking God to spread revival across our country so that the Gospel may be proclaimed to all nations.

– Don Dowdy