Christian evangelist Nick Hall provided a space over the weekend for the Asbury revival to continue after Asbury University shut it down.
There was plenty of space at the Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, located about 30 minutes from Asbury in Wilmore. And while hundreds showed up for the last-minute, low-key, free-flowing event, the revival meeting did not gain enough publicity beforehand to fill the massive arena.
Another Revival is being held at Rupp Arena until 11pm tonight.
It is hosted by an organization called Pulse. Their hope is to have students from revival meetings nationwide gathering for a send off.
Asbury University is not officially involved with the event. pic.twitter.com/TSpBSKtLjm
— Julia Sandor (@JuliaSandorWKYT) February 26, 2023
Hall told WTVQ-TV he received numerous messages from people wanting to see the Awakening continue in Lexington, so he was able to get the arena.
"We want to help people be able to feel confident to take this home, to reach their friends. And our prayer is that this will be unleashed in thousands of churches and schools from this place to the nations," Hall had said.
Asbury's president had said options would be opened up in the central Kentucky area after he closed down the revival. But then potential sites were never announced. That's when Hall said he simply wanted to provide a space for God to keep moving, according to ChurchLeaders.com.
Hall told the outlet he attended the revival at Asbury and "God really worked at my heart." What caught his attention almost immediately was the authenticity of the event.
"It changed me forever," he said.
Greg Gordon, the founder of SermonIndex.net, noted on social media some of the testimonies from Rupp Arena on Sunday, including the thought, "Could this be the Great Awakening?"
"Some testimonies tonight from the Rupp Arena meeting: 'The Lord is preparing us to go home / This is the great rehearsal.' - Lee University Student. 'He's coming soon!!' - Nick Hall. 'How close are you really to me? God is not even done with this move of God.' - Student," he tweeted.
Gordon added, "I personally was struck with the thought, could this be the beginning of a great awakening the Lord is sending to prepare His Bride for His soon coming and for the ingathering of the final harvest."
WTVQ-TV met one family who traveled hundreds of miles to attend the worship service. Cristian Gonzalez came to Lexington with his sister and grandmother.
"We came all the way here from Orlando, so it's something to look forward to," Gonzalez said. "We're just hoping to feel relief coming out of here, feeling like all my worries are gone. It's like starting anew almost."
You can watch the recorded live stream of Sunday's nine-hour service at Rupp Arena below.
Asbury Ended Public Worship on Feb. 20, But Movement Goes On
As CBN News reported, Asbury announced on Feb. 17 that public worship services in the school's Hughes Auditorium would end on Monday, Feb. 20. Then beginning Tuesday, Feb. 21, services available to the public would be held at another location in the central Kentucky area. It concluded for students with the National Collegiate Day of Prayer on Feb. 23.
Asbury President Dr. Kevin J. Brown, Ph.D. posted a four-minute video update to Twitter on Feb. 19. Brown said he believed Asbury was not the keeper or source of this movement, pointing out that it has already gone across the U.S. and around the world.
"We look to other schools, other churches or ministry communities as co-commissioners in this movement that's taking shape for us," he said.
Brown followed up in a statement posted Friday to the school's website. He pointed out that the school "cannot stop something we did not start. This was never planned."
"Regardless of how we choose to describe what we have seen and experienced over the last several weeks (revival, renewal, awakening, outpouring)—this movement is not finished. Other colleges and churches are experiencing similar services. Rather, we are encouraging the continued movement of God through other people, places, and ministries," the statement said.
The Asbury Collegian reported that it began during a call to confession on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when at least 100 people fell to their knees and bowed at the altar. Then it turned into a Holy Spirit outpouring that grew larger and larger each day with visitors pouring in from around the U.S. and around the world on the small college town. Some outlets have estimated more than 100,000 visitors descended on the town of Wilmore population 6,000. Asbury has an enrollment of 1,600 students.
Why Shutter the Epicenter of Revival?
In his "Drive It Home" segment of a recent episode of CBN News' The Global Lane, Gary Lane gave his analysis, questioning why Asbury's president ended the revival at the epicenter while it was still being exported.
Lane, CBN News' International News Director and Senior International Correspondent, noted Brown said the university isn't ending revival, just shifting it elsewhere. Asking that other churches and communities join in its commissioning to be sent out.
"Yes, that should happen. But Dr. Brown, with all due respect. I know you mean well. You want to restore order to your campus and community. But don't you think it's up to God's Holy Spirit to decide when it will end and shift elsewhere," Lane said.
"Doesn't the Spirit come in like a rushing wind, as described on the first day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2?" he noted. "We cannot direct the Holy Spirit and say, 'OK, that's it. Now go over there.' That's up to God, not university presidents and their regents."
"Revival begins in our hearts," Lane pointed out. "And we don't need to travel to Kentucky to experience the Holy Spirit. Still, many of us haven't seen revival like this since the Jesus movement of the 1970s." Lane points out that the 70s awakening flourished only because Pastor Chuck Smith refused to shut the doors on that move of the Holy Spirit.
He also said the timing of the release of the Jesus Revolution movie is not a coincidence. This outpouring of God's spirit is now, moving to other college campuses across the country.
"God is answering those prayers. Those years of prayers for revival," Lane continued. "So let's embrace it. And go with God. And wait and see what God will do to transform America and the world."
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The Outpouring Continues In Churches
Meanwhile, there have also been reports of the revival reaching certain churches across the country.
Pastor Troy Brewer, the founding and senior pastor of OpenDoor Church in Burleson, Texas, shared a video clip to Twitter from his church's worship services Sunday.
"Today we threw a wrench into our church services and asked everybody to cry out to God for encounter, Salvations and Revival. I took a note from the outpourings in Universities and How God responded to His people was….well………"
The 35-second video shows the congregation standing and shouting to the Lord.
Today we threw a wrench into our church services and asked everybody to cry out to God for encounter, Salvations and Revival. I took a note from the outpourings in Universities and How God responded to His people was….well……… pic.twitter.com/XaDIFU7pI3
— Troy Brewer (@pstroybrewer) February 26, 2023
Meanwhile, there are reports of a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit happening at the New Life Outreach International Church in the Bronx, New York.
Massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit at church in the Bronx last week, during the week and again today. Fernando Cabrera's church. Thank you Lord!
— Matt Bennett (@MattWadeBennett) February 26, 2023
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