A small Christian college in Kentucky has reported nonstop praise and worship in its chapel since Wednesday, Feb. 8.
“Three times a week, we stop everything that we’re doing and gather for a chapel service together,” said Kevin Brown, president of Asbury University. “This is just a service that hasn’t ended.”
By Monday morning, the service hit the 100-hour mark.
The university has a history of extended prayer meetings as early as 1905, including a meeting in 1970 that lasted for two weeks. Such unplanned, spiritually impactful events are interpreted by many Christians as revivals.
Unlike previous events, social media helped propel news of the service at Hughes Auditorium nationwide in a matter of hours.
“Asbury College experienced revivals in the 1950s and 1970s, and people have been praying for decades for it again,” said Asbury Seminary professor Craig Keener in a Feb. 10 Facebook post.
Keener has published regular updates on the chapel service and campus since last week.
“Whatever you want to call it, this is the first time in years anything like this has happened here,” he wrote.
What began as a few students deciding to stay after service doesn’t have any scheduled ending time, said Alison Perfater, Asbury’s student body president.
“It’s just deeply gentle and deeply loving; it’s just a glimpse of what I think heaven will look like,” she said.
‘Beautiful presence of freedom’
As news of the service spread, people from out of town have begun traveling to Asbury to see the event for themselves.
One was Bill Elliff, founding pastor at The Summit Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
“We came this week because our lives were transformed by the movement at Asbury in 1970 and the Jesus movement that occurred,” Elliff wrote after he and his wife drove nine hours from their home to attend. “We have longed for and sought revival ever since.”
Other travelers to Asbury included David Lorimer, director of admissions at Kentucky Mountain Bible College.
“There was a beautiful presence of freedom, an atmosphere where I felt free to focus on God and distractions faded, and a sense of not wanting to leave,” Lorimer wrote.
“I loved seeing so many young people, from all over – many other colleges were there – coming together to seek God. It warms my heart. No matter their starting place, God can work when people seek Him.”