Thank God (Literally) For Asbury

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

For the past 53 years, I have told anyone who is remotely interested (and maybe even some who weren’t) what it was like as a teenager to become a “Jesus People.” For me it was December of 1970. Literally, one day hippie kids were smoking dope defiantly on the hill behind Chief Sealth High School, and then the next day, they were passing out tracts in classes and with the singular boldness of a newborn babe in Christ, began to ask their teachers if they were born again. A childhood friend by the name of Tina had been radically changed, and she began to talk to me about what had happened to her. I wanted what she had, and I had been looking for it in all the wrong places. Long story short, I gave my heart to Jesus all alone in my bed on the night of December 8, 1970, and the most profound changes began in me that night and continue till this day.

What also was going on then was genuine revival on the campuses of the University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Puget Sound. It spread like wildfire, which is the true nature of revival, and another school that had been set ablaze with that kind of unscripted, organic, life-changing spiritual movement was Asbury College in Kentucky. It had hit the previous February. It changed the lives of students, faculty, the townspeople, and the people who came from all over just to have an encounter with the One who loves them most.

I am pleased to report that revival has broken out again on the Asbury campus, and one week into it, as is the nature of fire, it has jumped and spread. It has now gone on 24 hours a day for over a week and there are people lined up down the street from the Chapel to get in. It has spread to other colleges and nations, and there is a livestream that is running 24 hours a day. The ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates are covering it, and, yes, TikTok is even helping. As of this writing, the viral TikTok video has more than 24.4 million views. You can see it at #asburyrevival. People are driving all night to get there, and my faith tells me that many will “bring it back” to their home town.

So, even though this might sound odd, there is a song that won’t leave me alone that I think is appropriate once again to describe what is occurring and which serves as an invitation for all of us. It is Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready, and the lyrics say in part:

People get ready

There’s a train a-coming

You don’t need no baggage

You just get on board

All you need is faith

To hear the diesels

Don’t need no ticket

You just thank the Lord

So, people get ready

For the train to Jordan

Picking up passengers coast to coast

Faith is the key

Open the doors and
board ’em

There’s hope for all

Among those loved the most

It’s comin,’ it’s hummin,’ and it will change your lives if you let it. Pray for Asbury and beyond!