During a trip to Asbury University, then College, in 1995 for my husband’s reunion, I saw the premier of a film, “When God Came,” in Hughes Auditorium. The documentary told the amazing story of a revival that broke out in Hughes in February 1970. A regular chapel service went overtime as students rushed to the kneeling rail flanking the front of the podium to pray and worship. Then, one after the other, they began sharing their testimonies of how God was working in their lives. No one wanted to leave. And they didn’t.
One student, sitting in his assigned seat toward the back of the balcony said the window was slightly open, and suddenly he experienced a rush of wind pouring into the chapel. He knew it was the Holy Spirit.
The ordinary service ended up becoming an extraordinary move of God over the next two weeks, nonstop. Other colleges, and churches, flooded Asbury with requests for “Witness teams” to come to their campuses and tell the story of what was happening in Hughes Auditorium and through the Asbury campus. Wherever they told the story, revival broke out there as well. Some say this was the beginning of the Jesus Movement of that era. There can be no doubt of its impact.
The story touched me so profoundly when I heard of the revival in 1995 that I’ve since written about the event many times, culminating in my 2020 novel, SWEET, SWEET SPIRIT. I launched the book at Asbury during the 1970 revival’s 50th anniversary where I got to meet many people who had experienced the awakening first-hand. They are my personal rock stars.
That was three years ago this month. I was going through the bookshelf nearest my computer last Thursday and saw my reference books on the revival. I keep books I need close at hand in that space and decided it was time to move them to my 20th-century history section. A day later, my husband texted me. His best friend from Asbury had just told him, “Wednesday’s chapel has been going continuously since then.” A jolt passed through me—was revival breaking out at Asbury again? Have I lived to see this happen in my lifetime?
I’m writing this on Monday, February 13, and the revival is still going on. Every chance I get, I’ve been watching live-streaming and online videos. What a thrill to see the Spirit moving in this way among this “lost” generation! I encourage you to check out the story. Your soul will be so lifted! (And please excuse the shameless plug—I think you would really benefit from reading my novel to understand what happened, and what is taking place now.
Sursum corda indeed!
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