A year after a revival swept through Asbury University’s campus and made national headlines, students and leaders on campus say its impact is still being felt.
The revival, also known as an “outpouring,” began on the Wilmore, Kentucky, campus during a regularly scheduled chapel service in February 2023 and continued 24 hours a day for the next 16 days. It spread to other locations, including other college campuses such as Lee University, Samford University, and Cedarville University. This was the largest revival/mass gathering in Asbury since the early 1970’s and drew people from other states and even other countries.
Zach Meekleaves, Asbury University’s resident pastor, was preaching in the chapel the day the revival broke out. CBN recently spoke to him and others on campus.
“I knew I was onto something, but it wasn’t until mid-week that I thought this was something really special,” Meekleaves told CBN.
The spill had long-term effects, he said.
“The temperatures on campus are incredible, but what’s interesting is that they’re not just craving 16 days of power and encounters, but serious long-term steps,” he said. . “They want to pursue holiness. They want to end with pornography. They want to end their dependence on cell phones. They want to end things like that. really want to have an authentic walk with the Lord, and amazingly that’s happening here.”
Asbury President Kevin Brown also told CBN that he too has seen lasting effects.
“Our students are as hungry as ever. They continue to lead. They leave and we have more than 50 groups that have gone to various ministries and churches in the United States and abroad. ,” he said.
Enrollment is up about 25 percent from the previous year. This is definitely a visible impact of the university being in the spotlight.
Students say God’s presence was evident during those 16 days.
“God turned my world into technicolor. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it brought my prayers to life,” sophomore Riley McCord told CBN. “I mean, I saw physical healing, I saw the removal of cancer, I saw cancer physically removed from someone’s neck. I saw emotional healing and relationship healing. We did, and there were two other girls, now my boyfriend and we literally spent every waking moment there. We stayed there for two weeks without a single sleep. ”
She added: “What happened on February 8th?”  It was just the beginning of what was happening and what was to come. ”
“It was just a glimpse of God, His goodness, His mercy, His grace, His faithfulness,” student Caleb Rushing said. “It was a glimpse of what heaven would be like when we would just reign and dwell with God forever.”
President Brown said young people are leading the movement.
“During those 16 days, there was always a Gen Z representative at the altar,” Brown told CBN. “And on the very last day we had formal worship together, I will never forget, someone stood in front of all the students in the room, including 1,500 Gen Zers, and said, “You are no longer going to be a generation defined by depression; anxiety, addiction, suicidal thoughts.” And I heard the cries coming from that group, and someone said, “If we do that…” If I had had spiritual eyes to see, I would have seen an altar full of loose chains. That is my heart. That is the heart of those around me, now a burdened generation. But God wants to use them, and we need to invest in them.”
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Kativ
Michael Faust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His story was published in Baptist Press. Christianity Today, Christian Poecent, of leaf chronicle, of toronto star and of knoxville news sentinel.