Now Reading
Why Asbury University Decided to End Revival Services This Week

Why Asbury University Decided to End Revival Services This Week

Asbury University has announced that after 13 days of continual worship services, the Asbury Outpouring, as it’s come to be known, is now limited to students under age 25 — and on Friday, all outpouring-related services will be moved somewhere off campus.

University officials announced the new schedule Sunday night, allowing the public just one more day to visit campus to experience the outpouring for themselves.

Dr. Kevin Brown, Asbury University president, addressed why they were “stopping” the revival on the school’s website:

I have been asked if Asbury is “stopping” this outpouring of God’s Spirit and the stirring of human hearts. I have responded by pointing out that we cannot stop something we did not start. This was never planned. Over the last few weeks, we have been honored to steward and host services and the guests who have traveled far and wide to attend them. The trajectory of renewal meetings is always outward—and that is beginning to occur. We continue to hear inspiring stories of hungry hearts setting aside daily routines and seeking Christ at schools, churches, and communities in the US and abroad.

The effort by committed men and women on our campus to redirect energy, forsake other obligations, work tirelessly around the clock, and provide single-minded labor to accommodate our students and incoming visitors has been the high point in my career. In fact, it may be the most extraordinary act of collective Godliness and hospitable goodwill I have ever witnessed in my life. I am forever grateful. I am forever changed.

Abby Laub, Asbury University’s director of strategic communications, told RELEVANT the age limitation was made to shift the focus back on ministering to Gen Z students.

“God has pressed Gen Z on our hearts, and He’s made that so clear,” Laub said. “This started with them, so we want to really do that justice and work with how we feel God leading us.”

The outpouring has been entirely student-led, with students leading worship services, speaking and sharing testimonies with thousands, even volunteering to hand out food and water to visitors waiting in lines. Officials have estimated that approximately 50,000 visitors have come through Wilmore, Kentucky — which has a population of 6,021 people — since February 8.

Laub said safety was a big factor into moving the outpouring off campus. University officials have worked closely with law enforcement and local government officials to help determine next steps.

“In our daily conversations, safety was a big issue,” Laub said. “With all the traffic coming in, new people coming to campus, there were conversations about how to keep students — particularly our girls — safe from all the new faces coming to campus. Even just the infrastructure of this town literally cannot sustain this.”

Students shared that while they felt honored to serve visitors, they were also ready to get back to some normalcy.

Alexandra Presta, editor for student publication The Asbury Collegian, said finding a balance between school, life and the ongoing services began to weigh on the students.

“We’re still all wrestling in that tension of recognizing what God is doing is so amazing — we’re literally in awe,” Presta said. “We’re blessed that we have been witnesses to it — but we do feel like our home had been invaded because there are people everywhere. That’s just an honest reality. The whole posture of this revival has been radical humility and loving people, and just loving in action, and so we’ve been trying to do that.

“But we don’t want people to remember us, and we don’t want people to remember Asbury,” she continued. “We just want people to remember Jesus. And now we’re in that transition of trying to obey the Bible and being commissioned to go out.”

Asbury’s decision to transition the movement off campus has been met with some negative feedback.

“People think, ‘Why would you wanna stop this?’ And I’m like, we’re not,” Presta said. “We want to expand it, but it just isn’t sustainable for our university to keep hosting. We don’t want to hoard it, because the Holy Spirit’s not limited to Hughes Auditorium. The Holy Spirit’s everywhere we go, and you can have a revival right in your living room if you’re willing to lean into His love and His grace.”

Asbury officials are still working on a solution and meeting place for future services. Laub said that the campus website would stay up-to-date with new information, but the current plan is to completely shift services away from the university by Friday.

“I don’t believe that God ever meant for Asbury to hold this,” Laub said. “I don’t believe it would be a true revival if He meant for it to just stay here in our little town. I like to picture a candle of the Holy Spirit and a flame. And Asbury has a flame that, I see as a little candle, and then the next church or the next school that comes to visit, they’ve tipped their candle and they’re taking their flame … And soon we’re all tipping the candle and just passing the flame.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top

You’re reading our ad-supported experience

For our premium ad-free experience, including exclusive podcasts, issues and more, subscribe to

Plans start as low as $2.50/mo