Massive Asbury Christian Revival Overwhelms College Town

Asbury University officials have decided to move its revival off campus for logistical reasons as the Kentucky college town has been flooded with more than three times its normal population.

Some 50,000 Christians, mostly students, have poured into the small town of Wilmore over the last two weeks, with 20,000 streaming into town just this past weekend. As a point of comparison, the entire population of Wilmore is only about 6,000 and Asbury’s student body is about 1,600.

“We had authorities that had to redirect traffic away from Wilmore. Our town’s institutions and our town’s infrastructure is just not in a place to absorb the influx of the blessed guests that we have had,” said university President Kevin Brown.

“We are also tremendously thankful for the men and women who have worked so hard and diligently to create space for this special move of God,” Brown said. “Hosting such a significant moment comes with a cost—and the goodwill and humility of our community has been inspiring.”

Asbury published a schedule, noting, “Beginning Tuesday, February 21, services available to the public will be held at another location in the central Kentucky area. Asbury will host evening services for college-age and high school students (16–25) through Thursday, February 23.”

Visitors have streamed into town from all over the nation and even beyond, from Purdue University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Ohio Christian University, Transylvania University, Lee University, Georgetown College, and countless others, but also from places like Hawaii, Mexico, New Zealand, and Indonesia.

The Asbury Revival is not confined to its own campus, however, but has generated its own domino effect, with congregations elsewhere in the United States blossoming into similar marathon worship.

Following in Asbury’s footsteps, students at Samford University in Alabama, for instance, have been practicing 24/7 prayer and worship over the last days, and similar meetings have been reported at Cedarville University in Ohio and Lee University in Tennessee.

Samford University campus pastor Bobby Gatlin said the spontaneous meetings reflect a real, unmet need for God.

“College students are hungry for authentic faith,” Gatlin said. “They long to experience a Christianity that is real and meaningful.”

“This movement is a grassroots stirring that can only be explained by the Spirit of God working in the lives of individuals and small groups of students who are coming together in faith,” said Gatlin.

“For several years, multiple students have prayed for and asked about revival. I think God is answering those prayers in a powerful way and is bringing about life transformation,” he said.