A spontaneous revival was occurring at Asbury College in Kentucky. I was moved by God’s Spirit to go, to experience it, and to seek to understand all I was hearing about it.
We arrived in Wilmer, Kentucky early on a Friday morning. With us was a gentleman who had been to seminary at Asbury and was filled with knowledge of the school and its history. On the ride to the school, we were treated to story after story of the history of Asbury and the impact of John Wesley and Charles Wesley. We were told of their simple yet bold message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There was great expectation among us that we were heading to see a monumental event.
Upon arrival at the campus, we were met with a very long line of people waiting to enter the main building, Hughes Memorial Auditorium. The weather was a cold 34 degrees, with a “feel like” reading of 25 degrees. After parking the car, a friend and I walked past a statue of John Wesley. Having been told the statue was made to fit his height, it was surprising to note how small in stature he was yet to think about the large impact he made for the Kingdom of God.
We saw another gathering place, Estes Chapel. We entered and found the chapel filled with people praying and singing. The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident in the room. We sang and prayed, and observed a simplicity in messaging, song, and actions. At one point I tried to find a place to make a financial donation. Interestingly, I found no one who would take it . . . it simply was not a priority of what was happening.
After a time, we split to gain a broader experience on the campus. There was a large monitor outside of Hughes Auditorium where people could view the service while waiting to go inside. Though the cold was cutting through my clothes, I saw families with small children patiently waiting in the long line of people. There was an absence of vendors selling anything as well as an absence of news media and cameras. People were taking pictures with cell phones, but I did not see larger cameras.
That day I visited three different chapels. Each was filled with people repenting in prayer, singing, and worshipping our Lord Jesus. At that time, an estimated three to five thousand people had come to the campus over the prior ten days. Radical repentance was taking place. The goal every day seemed to be “How low can we go?” There were no celebrities present, only Jesus Christ was magnified. There were prayer groups at the front of each venue, and from time to time there was organized prayer throughout the groups. The organized prayers were for repentance, families, prodigal children, cities, healing, deliverance, revival.
My reflections on the journey home:
o This has been going on for 10 days and the university and the city were handling all without any noticeable constraint on time.
o The only name mentioned was Jesus Christ.
o The people were from every tribe and place.
o There seemed an absence of structure. This takes effort.
o The main theme was repentance.
o The music was simple, and Jesus focused.
o The prayers were simple.
o The atmosphere was pure and Holy Spirit filled.
It was genuine, and I will forever be grateful to have attended this spontaneous call to worship where no one measured time.
Richard is a life-long citizen of Mobile, Alabama and works as a financial advisor. He and Leah will celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary in June 2023. They are the busy grandparents to seven grandsons and two granddaughters all under the age of eight.