“Students Hungry for Jesus” Viral Christian Service Attracts Thousands

An ordinary morning Christian church service continues on its eleventh 24-hour day, and has attracted thousands of visitors!

“Students Hungry for Jesus”

A Christian service at a college chapel in Kentucky has ballooned into a nonstop prayer and worship session that some call a “revival.”

“We just had some people arrive from Finland, from the Netherlands, they have been coming from all over the country,” Abby Laud, director of communications for Asbury University, told local TV station WKTY.

Beginning today, the afternoon service will be accessible to everyone, while the evening service will only admit high schoolers and individuals aged 25 or below, according to local WDRB.

People travel thousands of miles to participate in it after seeing viral videos on TikTok.  

Asbury University

An attendee confirmed that ‘the whole thing’ began during a regular chapel service when a young man got up and transparently confessed some of his sins, and the atmosphere changed.

“The first day we had a very ordinary service, I would call it unremarkable,” said university President Dr. Kevin Brown. Following a morning service on Feb. 8, a multicultural gospel choir sang on stage. Some students stuck around afterward, and by evening more and more had trickled into the sanctuary creating something special, said Brown.

“It has absolutely been social media that is the mechanism that people found out about this,” said Mark Whitworth, Asbury University’s vice president of communications.

Here, they show the students still attending service on the seventh day.

“A Healing Experience”

Students were asked how they felt about the prayer service, “it’s a healing experience.”

A patron recorded walking to the University on Thursday night and shared the massive amount of people waiting to go inside.

This isn’t the only University that had surprising services! Similar movements have reportedly spread to Christian campuses such as Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, and Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

From a Pastor’s View

 Local pastor Andy Norris, his wife, and some church staff recently made the trip, and Norris shared details of the unique and emotional experience with Owensboro Times. (this section is copied from Owensboro Times)

Norris is the Connection Pastor at Pleasant Valley Community Church. Below is his recount of the trip:

I had the opportunity to visit Asbury University on Tuesday, February 14, for a few hours with my wife and a few of our staff from Pleasant Valley Community Church to participate in the ongoing revival services on their campus. Here are a few notes I jotted down that night after we got back that summarized my experience:

  1. It felt different. The moment I walked into the building, it just felt different. It’s hard to describe, but there was a heaviness in the air. Nothing bad or ominous, just a sense of weightiness that I can only describe as holy. I’m not a particularly emotional person, but the second I walked in and saw the room, I teared up. Everyone in my car on the way home expressed the same sentiment about the heaviness and general feel of the room.
  2. It exalted Christ. The singing, testimonies, etc. were all centered on Jesus and his glory. There was zero emotional manipulation, no dramatic performances, nothing that could be seen as trying to produce a response in people. It was stripped down, low-key… just simple and powerful, and Jesus was always at the center.
  3. It was diverse. There were everything from Anglicans, Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterians, and everything in between. It was really cool to see people from all over the spectrum worshiping together. That did push me out of my comfort zone, especially when some of the people around me from different faith traditions were doing things that were distracting or made me a little uncomfortable, but the longer I was there, the more I grew to admire their love and zeal for Jesus despite my differences with their expression of it. Jesus was at the center of it all, and the diversity in the room was a powerful testimony that the one thing that binds us together is stronger than the many differences that might pull us apart.
  4. It was a great balance of order and freedom. The Asbury staff did an amazing job of keeping things orderly. You could imagine that with people literally flying in from all over the country there is an opportunity for chaos. Asbury did a great job of gently and appropriately reining things in and keeping them from getting out of control. While they had open mics for people to come forward and share testimonies, they gave parameters and vetted what was going to be shared before they gave people the mic to make sure that everything was orderly and exalted Jesus. There were a couple of occasions where somebody tried to filibuster the revival with a long testimony, or something happened that caused some in the crowd to start moving toward more chaotic expressions, but the Asbury staff did an amazing job of redirecting that energy into singing or prayer while making sure that things remained orderly and the crowd didn’t get out of control. I really can’t overstate how well they maintained that balance while not stifling people’s enthusiasm.
  5. Something seems to be happening. Aside from the worship experience (which I was personally very moved by), it was just really cool to see people praying together, people confessing sin, people sharing testimonies of relationships being reconciled, praying for healing and deliverance, etc. In some sense, what is happening at Asbury doesn’t seem super impressive. It’s just a stripped down, simple worship service with a little more theological diversity than I’m used to… but it really feels like God is moving.

We stayed for a few hours (which went by in what felt like 30 minutes) and had to leave, but I really didn’t want to. Time will tell what ends up happening from here, but at the very least, I walked away encouraged, challenged, and with rekindled affections for Jesus in a way that, to be totally transparent, had grown a little dry for a season. If that’s all this is, then I’m grateful for it, and if it proves to be more, then I’ll be even more grateful to have been a part of it.

The Christian university is looking to move its around-the-clock prayer services off-campus as a professor called for an end to the “public phase” of the event amid overcrowding concerns.

The school is also working with the mayor of Wilmore to address logistical issues as the town of 6,000 people strains to accommodate the massive numbers pouring in from around the world, according to local CBS affiliate WKYT.

Further Reading:

Mel Gibson Launches ‘Passion of the Christ’ Sequel

Candance Cameron’s Surprising Move Away From Hallmark

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