Remembering the Asbury Revival, 50 Years Later
February is always a landmark month on my spiritual calendar.
Fifty years ago this month my life was revolutionized forever. On February 3, 1970, a spontaneous spiritual awakening occurred on the campus of Asbury College (now Asbury University), in Wilmore, Kentucky. What happened there provided the spark for numerous revivals all over America and touched my life deeply three weeks later in Anderson, Indiana.
A small group of students at Asbury, a religious college near Lexington, Kentucky, with roots in Methodism, had begun to pray for God to bring an awakening to their campus.
They not only prayed, but they also searched their hearts to make an effort to turn from everything and every attitude that was not pleasing to God.
On February 3rd , at their regular chapel service, the scheduled speaker felt led to forego giving a talk and simply opened up the convocation for testimonies from students about what Christ meant in their lives. At some point, one student who had been rebellious toward spiritual matters, stated he had wasted his life and wanted to come to Christ. He went forward to the altar in the auditorium and many others followed him. There was a deep sense of the presence and movement of the Holy Spirit and more and more came forward to recommit their lives to Christ. This was accompanied by seeking people out to ask forgiveness for wrongs done to them. A deep sense of awe and gratitude to the Lord permeated the auditorium which, to those who were there, is still difficult to describe in words.
That service continued around the clock for the next eight days. Classes were suspended during this time, and the news spread to nearby towns. Soon the media got wind of it, and then, like a prairie fire, it spread throughout the nation.
On February 22nd a similar thing happened in Anderson, Indiana, when a group of Asbury students came to the South Meridian Church of God. Their testimonies ignited a powerful revival which lasted for fifty days and touched hundreds of people, including my own. More on the Anderson revival later this month, but I hope you will take a little time to view the documentary on this website, entitled “Deeper Still: Memories of God's Power and Love in the 1970 Asbury College Revival.”
With all the division and anger and disillusionment in our present society, I long to see this happen again. The sooner, the better.