Asbury revival to shift off campus

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Nearly two weeks from the start of the chapel service that started it all, the spirit of the Asbury revival has not diminished from the minds of Christians across the globe.

However, after Asbury has seen tens of thousands of new faces traveling from countries like Brazil to Scandinavia, Hughes Auditorium is now closed to the general public due to the issue of public safety.

Asbury Director of Strategic Communications, Abby Laub said that over the weekend, the City of Wilmore announced, ‘We cannot fit another single car into this town. Our infrastructure is gonna fall into the Kentucky river’, And we respect that. Our priority has always been ok, keep this focused on God and focus on the safety of our students and the general public,” Laub said. “It just became clear. Obviously, we can’t continue doing this.”

Email newsletter signup

As of Monday, Feb. 20, continuous chapel service was halted and restricted to evening services for 18-24-year-olds on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21-22. The university will hold a live simulcast for the general public in Estes Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary during evening service times if necessary. Livestreams will be available online, along with additional information, at

Laub said that Gen Z was prioritized towards the end of the revival because “We’re a university, so naturally, we love young people. This started with them. This started with young people.”

But Laub and other Asbury officials say this revival won’t end here.

“Whether it’s revival, or The Great Awakening, or The Second Great Awakening, or whatever, they’re never meant to stay in one place. They’re meant to be shared,” said Laub.

The faith-based movement has spread to Christian universities inside and outside of Kentucky, one being Samford University in Alabama.

“It’s been cool to see it grow and to see God naturally move it out of this place. If it had stayed here, I think we all would have SAID, no, this isn’t what it’s supposed to do. Whether you’re a Christian or not, you’re supposed to share love. You’re supposed to spread love. You’re not supposed to keep it,” said Laub.

Although this town of around 6,000 residents has had its infrastructure challenged, one local, Malerie Partin, who lives near the university, said she was excited to experience an Asbury revival for the first time.

She said the fact that the city was far over capacity didn’t affect her “whatsoever.”

“It was beautiful. We were there for two or three hours, and the love- it was just overwhelming. I don’t know how to put it into words, but it was just beautiful.” Said Malerie Partin. She even witnessed a couple getting saved through faith while she was in the auditorium. “I’ve seen people go to the offer and ask for forgiveness, yes. But I’ve not seen people in public testifying their sins and asking to be saved like that was a first.”

Hughes Auditorium shutting its doors has not stopped visitors from coming into Wilmore. On the late morning of Tuesday, Feb. 2, visitors sang along with guitar performers and singers and chanted hallelujahs and unintelligible yells.

From Antioch, Illinois, Lemma Olana drove eight hours to Asbury during his three-day weekend. He only heard about the revival on Saturday, Feb. 18 and arrived Monday afternoon.

“I’ve been waiting to see what’s happening. I risked everything to come down here. It’s more than what I heard. When I step in the chapel, I can feel the spirit moving everywhere.” Olana said.

The university is working to find local partners to continue the revival elsewhere in central Kentucky. Laub said that if people do want to talk or pray and participate, Asbury will use its resources to try to connect them with local churches in central Kentucky or their own towns.

“You have a flame, and you want to share it, and that’s our mindset this week, and we’re just so excited that people have been so blessed like this. It’s nothing that we ever could have imagined. I think we’re still processing what’s happening,” Laub said.

She said that because of the revival, social media is for once allowing young people to feel “blessed and encouraged.”

Regular chapel services are live streamed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 am online, and that link can be found at