Town Swamped: Revival Crowd Now 3x City's Own Population as Tens of Thousands Journey to Experience God


Asbury University announced Friday that the nonstop revival service that has been taking place on its Kentucky campus would be shutting down and moving to an off-campus location by the end of the week.

The town of Wilmore where Asbury is located — in east-central Kentucky outside Lexington — was flooded with over 20,000 visitors over the weekend, by some reports.

The entire population of Wilmore is about 6,000, and Asbury’s student body is about 1,600 total.

Greg Gordon, founder of the religion website, tweeted a photo from Saturday night of people standing in a long line outside of Hughes Auditorium on campus where the revival is taking place.

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On Sunday, the school wrote on its website, “Earlier this afternoon, the university in consultation with local law enforcement and city administration notified incoming visitors that parking and seating had exceeded capacity.”

No more visitors were allowed into the town, but the school said it would live stream portions of the event, as CBN News reported.

Asbury also released a schedule saying, “Beginning Tuesday, February 21, services available to the public will be held at another location in the central Kentucky area. Asbury will host evening services for college-age and high school students (16–25) through Thursday, February 23.”

Starting Friday, the school will no longer be hosting services open to the public and encouraged those who attended the outpouring, which began Feb. 8, to “go out” into the world and share what they’ve experienced.

Jacob Coyne — a preacher and founder of the mental health organization Stay Here — told The Western Journal what he experienced at Asbury was profound.

As he entered Hughes Auditorium, he said, “Right away it just felt like … any burdens that I was carrying just got lifted right off and I just cried. It reminded me of the simple times when I was 16 and I had just given my life to Jesus.”

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“I just wanted to know Jesus,” Coyne continued. “There is just no other agenda but to just give Jesus an offering of worship and to encounter Jesus and get your heart right with God if you’ve gone astray. So it was beautiful.”

He recounted that it felt like the Holy Spirit was just moving through the room as in the book of Genesis, when the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters, which were dark, formless and void. The Bible records that God then spoke, “Let there be light.”

“And I really felt like…if you’re walking in with chaos inside your soul, the Holy Spirit is just brooding over you. He’s just hovering over, and the Word of the Lord comes to you and brings light to where there’s darkness. It felt like you’re just walking into the holy of holies because there is so much space for Jesus to move,” Coyne said.

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“So it felt like Jesus was just walking through the room, touching people, one by one. You didn’t need someone to lay hands on you or call you out or you didn’t need an altar.”

CBN News reported on Friday that spiritual awakenings are breaking out on other college campuses in Ohio, Tennessee and Alabama.

On the website of Asbury University, which was founded in 1890, the school chronicles revivals that have broken out on campus periodically over the years, starting in 1905 and most recently in 2006, when there were four days of continuous worship.

In February 1970, in the midst of the Jesus Movement in the U.S., classes were canceled for a week as a revival went on for 144 hours, so this most recent outpouring more than doubled that total.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith