(UnitedVoice.com) – Twice a week, students at a Christian university in Kentucky gather in the college chapel for a short service before classes. At least, that’s what they usually do. Almost two weeks ago, something remarkable happened. Eight days after the first prayer began, the chapel was still full of students, as the school was swept by an extraordinary revival that even drew in visitors from around the world.
No Ordinary Service
Asbury University is a private college located in Wilmore, Kentucky. It’s a small school by US standards, with around 1,800 students, and it has a strong Christian ethos and historic ties to evangelical Methodism. One way Asbury expresses that ethos is through its biweekly chapel services. However, on February 8, the regular morning service unexpectedly turned into something quite different. The students gathered and began to pray — and then they didn’t stop.
Instead of finishing the service and heading for class, hundreds of students remained in the chapel and kept praying. It went on for hours. Then it stretched into days. On February 15, Fox News host Tucker Carlson highlighted the event when he interviewed student body president Alison Perfater, and by then, it had been going on for over a week.
According to Perfater, the service began as normal, then one worshiper stood up and spontaneously confessed his sins. That triggered something in the congregation, and the whole atmosphere changed. Instead of coming to an end, the service just seemed to gain momentum, and some of those present began to report what was happening on social media. A week into the extraordinary event, it had picked up 24.4 million views on TikTok — and attracted faculty and students from 22 other US colleges, almost every state, and even visitors from as far away as Brazil and Indonesia.
Is It a Revival?
Christianity in the US has a history of revivals, where some unexpected event triggers a sudden surge in worship. In fact, Asbury University itself has a history of events like this, as do other Christian colleges. According to the Washington Post, historian Andrea Turpin says this would happen “about once a year.”
Some of these events have had major impacts. One at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1806, played a big part in starting the international missionary movement in the US. They often change the lives of people involved in them, prompting worshippers to go into ministry or other Christian work. It’s likely some of the people who started to pray at Asbury on February 8 will find their lives heading off in new directions.
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