A Holy Spirit Story: Live from the Campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Today’s Holy Spirit Story comes in the midst of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Yes! It is a live Holy Spirit story. I pulled it straight from the campus newspaper there and rather than asking permission I will plead for forgiveness if necessary. So full credit to Alexandra Presta who wrote the article. This comes from February 8 and is linked here. I’m sure updates will follow. You can hear it in the author’s voice on today’s podcast recording. 

“I have been in Hughes Auditorium for almost twelve hours now without an intent to leave anytime soon.

Peers, professors, local church leaders and seminary students surround me— all of them praying, worshiping, and praising God together. Voices are ringing out. People are bowing at the altar, arms stretched wide. A pair of friends cling to each other in a hug, one with tears in her eyes. A diverse group of individuals crowd the piano and flawlessly switch from song to song. Some even sit like me, with laptops open. No one wants to leave.

No one even expected this to happen. Not on a random Wednesday for sure. Yet, we sit and sing about God’s love pouring out and His goodness.

As a senior, I have never witnessed anything like this. I’ve heard about it from alumni, especially those who have come to chapel and spoken about their experience with the Revival of 1970. December graduate Elle Hooper agrees with me.

“I am one of many who have been praying for this since my freshman year,” Hooper said. “To be here and witness to this is life-giving.”

There have been moments of testimony, Scripture reading and prayer, private and public — whatever the Spirit felt like doing. Different leaders like chapel speaker Zach Meerkreebs and campus pastor Greg Haseloff worked to keep the day flowing as long as God intended it. Pizza, snacks, water and coffee rejuvenated the energy around dinner time and after the sunset.

This experience is a true testament to show God’s timing. He knew when we as a student body and as a community needed a day like today. To confess, reconcile, heal and allow prayers to be spoken over us — He knew what we needed to do and helped us do it. He is still present even as I type these words; honestly, it is hard to describe everything I am feeling, much like my friends sitting around me.

Part of me is filled with nothing but gratitude. We have sung the popular song by Brandon Lake more than once, but the truth of the lyrics hit every time: “So I throw up my hands, and praise You again and again ’cause all that I have is a hallelujah.”

I have embraced friends, cried with strangers and overall felt more connected to God than I have in a long while. And I am only one person, one witness to healing and transformative action taking place on the carpets, against the walls, and between the wooden rows of seats.

Junior Abigail Glei said she felt peace about the sovereignty of God. “He is teaching me to believe that He is in control and that I don’t need to worry.”

Senior Ashley Schumacher described feeling the weight of the Holy Spirit the second she re-entered Hughes after chapel had been dismissed.

In a moment of testimony, junior Andrew Seamands shouted, “God is so awesome!”

Another student Andrew Johnson spent hours in Hughes and found himself being reminded about how “it’s okay to be vulnerable and emotional.”

Freshman Kiara King told the Collegian she felt a push from God tonight. “He gave me the push to keep going and to truly know He has me on the right path,” she said.

No matter what anyone has been through or how God spoke to them individually, there was a collective understanding that it was time to surrender, pray and keep worshiping.

It doesn’t seem like the night is planning to end anytime soon. A friend in Tennessee Facetimed me in the middle of worship because “I had to see for myself what God was doing.”

Come and see. It’s surely an unbelievable sight that will stir your heart. The Collegian will provide updates as the revival continues officially throughout the night and tomorrow morning on Feb. 9, 2023, at 11 a.m.”

Let us bless the Lord for this special visitation of his Spirit among these students. What a gift to us all. On Thursday I reached out to our senior advisor and awakening scholar, David Thomas, who has been on campus throughout this gathering. Mark Benjamin and I, shared in a recorded Zoom conversation with David around the unfolding there. I wanted to share this recording with you as many will want to know more. You can see it here on our Wake-Up Call Facebook Group. (It gets started at the 4 minute mark). Let us also pray for this outpouring to continue and spread in any and all the ways the Lord desires.  


Father, thank you for live action Holy Spirit stories. We love you. We treasure your work, and it delights us to witness it in any and every way you will release and unfold your presence in our midst. Your presence is awakening. We bless these students, indeed the whole community and all the places and people you will touch through this. Thank you for renewing your works in our day and time. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.  


Have you ever been involved in an outpouring of this nature? Spontaneous, unplanned, surprising? Tell us that story.   


Today let’s sing the old standard hymn “Revive Us Again.” It is hymn 78 in our Seedbed Hymnal, Our Great Redeemers Praise.  Let’s sing it especially over these students and this fresh encounter  with Jesus still unfolding. If you have an extra two minutes today you will enjoy this beautiful rendition of the hymn. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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P.S. Holy Spirit Stories Welcome

I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. Word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. I woke up this morning with these words in my mind and in my heart.

    Receipe for revival:
    Set aside religious protocol
    And make room for people
    To follow Christ’s inner call.

  2. Jesus said He would send a Helper to us & He did..His Holy Spirit is a gift to all… the Spirit brings joy when we let Him lead…Sadness if we grieve the Spirit.

  3. In 1995 revival winds swept through campuses around the country. I was serving in campus ministry the time. It was amazing. It impacted my life then and continues. Three things that stand out were public confession, humility and prayer.

    I am still in ministry, but not at a university. I pray revival for our universities and beyond. I don’t want any of us to miss out. Holy Spirit please move in our midst.

  4. It was a Sunday night service & the sermon was delivered by a visiting Evangelist. As the service ended we had an extended prayer service. The Santuary was crowded and I was walking around with 3 or 4 year old Alex in my arms. I heard the Evangelist ask if there was anyone who didn’t have the Holy Ghost. Suddenly he said, “You sir, holding the child!” As I turned around I saw he was staring at me and he asked for someone to take the child. Someone walked up and my arms were empty.
    He asked me if I had the Holy Ghost and I responded that I did not. At that time I had been a new member of the congregation of a Pentecostal Church. Something completely new to me! He then asked me if I wanted the gift of the Holy Spirit and although I wasn’t sure, somehow I said yes. He laid hands on me and began to pray for me. He told me I might feel my tongue fluttering around in my mouth and half a minute or so later I did! I opened my mouth to speak and the Lord took over! It was my voice! Those words were coming out of my throat! I have no idea what I was saying because it wasn’t in a language I’d ever learned! But it was my voice saying them! I was speaking in tongues, as the Spirit gave me the utterance! The only proof that I received the Holy Ghost!
    But what I felt that night, will be a lasting memory that will stay fresh in my mind to my last breath! When God’s Spirit entered my heart, the warmth was so intense, that it felt as though someone was standing right behind me with a blowtorch!
    That was 17 years ago, but it feels like it was three minutes ago! There’s only one thing left to say; “Hallelujah, to the King of Kings!!”

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