By: Koneika McKiddy
In a small town just outside of Lexington, Kentucky called Wilmore sits a more Non-Denominational College called Asbury University. On February 8, 2023, a revival broke out and has continued for days!! Students, community members and people from afar have come out to worship.
I heard about this going on scrolling through social media. I was pulled to going. I planned the trip the night before and generally do not do things on my own like this but it was the middle of the week and not that far away. On Tuesday I drove the 30 or so minutes it takes to get to Wilmore.
The closer I got the more cars I began to see from both directions. For those who don’t know, Wilmore is a little town just on the outskirts and generally wouldn’t see traffic like this I would assume. When driving into town I thought it would be a mess. All these people and not really much parking or space. One small gas station sits at the red light.
But it wasn’t at all chaotic. I did have one gentleman that was eager to get parked and let me know with the sounding of his horn. Everyone was parking in the very small college parking lot. It was just a short walk around the large building we parked behind and across the road to the chapel where the revival is taking place.
Still, upon walking up to the crowd it was very calm and quiet even. With what looked like hundreds of people waiting line and children passing out little cards from another church in Kentucky, it was still just calm and quiet. The wait wasn’t long and once you got inside; you didn’t want to leave! No wonder traffic was easy flowing, no one was in a hurry to go!
While standing in line I overheard conversations of course. I had three men in front of me, at least one was a pastor. At one point the men called for people to join in prayer. Behind me was a lady, she was with the children and another pastor from Cynthiana, KY. I overheard him reading a message to her. The message he said was from another pastor at his church who speaks at the abortion clinic in Louisville. A lady he had spoken to was thanking him for his talk and kindness and sending him a photo of her little baby boy!!
Once inside the building was amazing! It had wonderful stain glass windows down each side with very high ceilings. Two levels of seating to fill. Woodwork that looks like it could and has withstood the test of times. The vibration of the worship music within that space was unexplainable.
There was just a piano, sometimes a guitar and students singing. No set up, no planning. Just students playing and singing church songs and those in attendance joining in. On occasion someone will step in and lead a small service. Eleven days later the services are still going strong with every seat filled both day and night!! People are coming from all over!! Twenty-two other Kentucky schools have bused students into the services.
Asbury has responded to requests from news agencies and ask that they not come. The college states this is a sacred thing, and they wish to keep this a sacred and safe place. Alison Perfater, student body president states its running with just students. She continues saying “imagine students bringing mattresses into an old wooden auditorium”.
Asbury is not actually a “Christian” school. The school was founded in 1890 by John Wesley Hughes and is rooted in the Wesleyan Holiness faith emerging from Methodism. And this is not the first time a revival has broke out here! February 3, 1970, a revival began that lasted over 185 hours. It spread across the United States and into other countries!! Other revivals are noted in 1905, 1950 and 1958.
Now, let me tell you about my Asbury story. As I stood in the balcony snapping photos occasionally, singing, raising my hands and of course crying (the Holy Spirit was ALL OVER ME), a young man walked up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and says very quietly “can I pray with you”? I said of course and so we did. There were students walking around the large crowd praying for and with people as it was too large of a crowd to wait for simple alter calls.
After he prayed with me, he turns and says, “I don’t know if this means anything to you but your sons will be OK”. Of course, I said nothing to him, but I was so confused. My oldest son is good, and life seems to be going well for him. My two youngest sons, I haven’t seen for over twelve years but……. I’m certain they are OK too. I thought about what he said all day but didn’t give it much weight. Three days later I get an odd video call from my dad. Odd because he doesn’t do video calls at all and never calls me as my mom does the calls. He flips the screen around to show me my youngest son sitting on the couch waiting for me. My oldest son and I took the trip to see him. For the first time in twelve years, I had two of my boys (now grown young men) in my arms together.
It isn’t every day that we get a message from God Almighty. And less often that we understand or receive that message correctly or at all. Our minds are so loud with the noise of the world around us that it’s hard to quiet them down so we can receive the messages meant for us. Now I understand the message!!
All photos - Credit: Koneika McKiddy
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