*** DEBUG END ***

‘Outpouring’ at Asbury University

24 February 2023


Worshippers in the Asbury chapel last week

Worshippers in the Asbury chapel last week

ALMOST two weeks of non-stop worship at a small Christian university in the United States is being hailed as a “revival”, as thousands of people have travelled to join the service there.

The so-called “Asbury Revival” began at Asbury University, a Methodist-affiliated institution in Wilmore, Kentucky, after students stayed on in the chapel, praying and worshipping, after a morning service on 8 February. The student president, Alison Perfater, told Fox News: “For seemingly no reason at first, on Wednesday, February 8, it didn’t end. That’s kind of the logistical side of what’s been going on.

“On the deeper side of things, what’s been happening here since Wednesday is there’s a young army of believers who are rising to claim Christianity, the faith, as their own, as a young generation and as a free generation, and that’s why people cannot get enough.”

News of the phenomenon spread across social media, and among those who posted on Twitter about was the former Vice-President Mike Pence. People began turning up in their thousands. The university has now arranged with other churches and buildings near by to take the event off campus, because of its inability to cope with the influx of people. The university has said that it will no longer live-stream or broadcast anything from indoors.

Asbury University has fewer than 1700 students, and the surrounding town has just 6000 residents. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people attended revival services over the weekend. The number of people wanting to participate caused the university to expand its services to five overflow buildings. The hashtag #asburyrevival had 96.8 million views on TikTok as of Wednesday afternoon.

The university president, Kevin Brown, posted a video this week, saying: “Whether you call this a revival, a renewal, an awakening, or an outpouring, what we have experienced on our campus these last few weeks is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life. We look to other schools, other churches or ministry communities as co-commissioners in this movement that’s taking shape for us.

“Whatever happens from here, our deep desire is to see a life-transforming renewal of our younger generation to faithfully serve their communities, their schools, their churches, and their professions. To see them go into the difficult and dark places in the world and to be light.”

The university’s director of strategic communications, Abby Laub, said that the “revival” — which the university are calling an “outpouring” — was begun by students, and led by students throughout. She said: “Gen Z has been through a lot, and are hungry for truth and for peace.”

Despite the huge numbers of people turning up to join the worship, it was “overwhelmingly peaceful”, she said. “There are people here from all around the world, many languages spoken, with many different flags — all here for one common purpose: to worship and share this gift from God.

“Only history will tell if it’s a revival; our hope and prayer is that this does, in fact, turn into revival, and that the world is changed as a result.”

Asbury has a history of hosting outpourings: one in the 1970s, which lasted 185 hours, and another in 2006, which lasted four days.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


RS Thomas & ME Eldridge Society in association with Church Times:

RS Thomas Winter webinar 2024

Saturday 17 February 2024 - 4pm - 5.15pm GMT

Malcolm Guite in conversation with Jon Gower

Online Tickets available


Church Times/Sarum College:

Traditions of Christian Spirituality

January - May 2024

This is a five-part series on major strands of the Christian spiritual tradition.

Book individual session tickets or sign up for the full programme


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)