The Asbury University revival that entered its 10th day Friday has spread to multiple other schools, including Samford University, which is experiencing its own movement of God with student-led worship and prayer that has stretched to about 48 hours.
Very exciting! Quick update on the last 24 hours at Samford University. Pray for us! pic.twitter.com/vNDRZBSiJT— J. D. Payne (@jd_payne) February 17, 2023
Samford, located in Homewood, Ala., is at least the fourth school to see a spontaneous revival break out among students. As previously reported by Christian Headlines, Lee University in Tennessee and Cedarville University in Ohio also have experienced unscripted revivals this week.
Beck A. Taylor, president of Samford University, emailed students Friday, thanking God for the revival. The revival at Reid Chapel on the Samford campus had been going on for 48 continuous hours as of Friday morning, he said.
Samford is located about 400 miles from Asbury's Wilmore, Ky., campus.
"This is spontaneous, organic, student-led worship," Taylor wrote. "Having spent some time yesterday with those worshipping in Reid Chapel, I can testify that the Holy Spirit is at work in and among our student body. What's happening isn't contrived, programmed, or scripted. Nor is it performative or disingenuous. Students and others see it as an opportunity for the Samford campus to find unity in Christ, to encourage one another to faithfulness, and to extend the love and grace of Jesus to everyone."
Taylor urged students to "resist the temptation to label what's happening, or to put it into some kind of a neat box."
"I'm convinced that God is doing a new thing here, and all we're asked to do is to remain faithful to God's calling," Taylor wrote. "Our theme this year is HOPE. Our hope can be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. As we worship Jesus today, let's allow hope to abound in us so that we can spread God's hope throughout this campus and the world."
“It’s the most unified I’ve seen our student body.” “It’s unscripted and not programmed. The Spirit is leading.” “Students are sharing from their hearts.” “The Gospel is being proclaimed.” “Our campus will never be the same.” Pray for Samford’s campus! 🙏🏻 Praise God!— Beck A. Taylor (@BeckTaylor) February 16, 2023
According to The Alabama Baptist newspaper, the unscripted revival began on Wednesday when a student "walked into Reid Chapel and began softly playing worship songs on the piano," a university spokesperson told the newspaper. Soon, a "few students heard the music, walked into the chapel and began to worship along with the student," the newspaper reported. By 2 a.m., there were 150-200 people in the chapel.
"Students are sharing from their hearts," Taylor wrote in a Tweet. "The gospel is being proclaimed."
The widespread revivals are taking place some five decades after another major student-led revival spread across college campuses. That 1970-era revival eventually was dubbed the Jesus Movement and landed on the cover of Time Magazine. Ironically, a movie about that revival, Jesus Revolution, will hit theaters on Feb. 24.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/James Coleman
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.