A Student’s Perspective on the Asbury University Revival

Written by Amanda Davis, Feature Editor

When Lexie Presta first arrived at Hughes Auditorium at Asbury University at 10 a.m., she had no idea that she would not leave the building until twelve hours later. Chapel had felt like normal that morning to the Asbury senior. Rev. Zach Meerkrebs was speaking about Romans 12 as part of his BECOMING: Love in Action series, and Presta was eager to hear him speak.

Photo: Lexie Presta

After the service, a small group of students stayed behind to continue worshiping. Presta initially left Hughes Auditorium, but felt led to come back and join the worshiping students. She missed her class and did not leave until 2:30 a.m.

Presta is one of many students whose life has been touched by what many are starting to call a ‘revival’ at Asbury University. The revival started on Feb. 8 and did not end until Feb. 23, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and the world. Similar revivals broke out at other colleges, such as Samford University, Lee University and Baylor University, according to Religion News Service.

Presta regularly attended the revival service, only leaving every night for a few hours of sleep. Classes were never canceled during the revival, so Presta gave herself rest and time to do her work. Presta described the beginning of the revival as “intimate and full of peace – just the Asbury community and Jesus.”

The administration of Asbury set up student-only areas on campus so that the student population would have a safe area to rest, pray, and fellowship together.

“Our entire lives as students were affected when people from different cities and countries started pouring in. We were absolutely excited about what God was doing but we also had to think about our safety,” Presta said.

Presta said that she saw God work in many ways during the revival service. Presta was able to witness a friend from freshman year, who felt resentment and anger toward God, become completely transformed. Presta said that her spiritual life was deeply affected in a beautiful way that she is still currently trying to process.

Photo: Samuel Reed

Asbury officially ended revival services on Feb. 23, on the National Day of Collegiate Prayer. A non-Asbury sponsored worship service began on Feb. 26, and has continued to draw crowds at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, according to Religion News Service. The service is currently being led by evangelist Nick Hall. 

Presta is hesitant to label what happened at her school as a revival, saying that she will “leave that up to the people recording history.” She wants people to remember that God moved and is still moving.

Presta hopes that people will continue to worship Jesus, whether they are at Asbury, in their living room, dorm room, or across the globe.

“God is too good to be limited to one place or one group of people. We are all created in his image, and he loves us very deeply, we just have to be willing to see him working in our lives,” Presta said.

Amanda Davis is a sophomore communications major and creative writing minor at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City native and loves reading, writing and photography.