Asbury: An Eyewitness Account
It’s now been a week since a routine chapel service at Kentucky’s Asbury University began — and it hasn’t stopped. As worshippers were inspired to continue singing, praying, and repenting, people from around the country have traveled to the campus to see this spontaneous outbreak of the Holy Spirit — including Family Research Council’s own chaplain, Dr. Jay Johnston. He joined FRC President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” to share what he saw.
JOHNSTON: Well … this wasn’t anything planned, orchestrated, or organized. It’s really what we know from John 12:32, when the word of God says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw people to myself.” And that’s what’s happening in the in the 24 hours [I spent] worshiping with them and just being in the different venues. … The word “revival” wasn’t used, but I can tell you the word obedience to the Holy Spirit and that sensitivity to the Holy Spirit was there. And echoing what you said of the prayer time, the worship, the testimonies, it was just a beautiful sight to behold.
PERKINS: Is it still going on with the same intensity that we’ve seen over the last week?
JOHNSTON: From talking to some of the faculty and some of the students and praying with them, they feel like it’s even at a greater intensity. And even as Kevin shared in the chapel time today … we’re going to just be obedient. And while it’s “disrupted” [life on campus] they want to just continue to lean in what God is doing. So, yes.
PERKINS: There was the worship. You say there was repentance. Describe what you saw there as you were on the campus.
JOHNSTON: You know, if you can describe humility — or if you take the definition — that’s what I saw. That’s what I witnessed from the people in the lines to get into the [buildings on campus]. And then they opened up another venue for students that are like under 25 that they took a new room, but really with humility. And it was these times of worship. There [weren’t] names like we have grown accustomed to, not names on screens or bright lights. It’s just simple piano or guitar — just heart-leading [music]. And a lot of times, the instruments stop and you just hear this choir of voices in that time. And then they have testimony.
And by the way, let me just say, this is all being led by students. So it’s just students doing this, and they have testimonies where they share. I witnessed, last night and today, testimonies of reconciliation, where there were some students who shared that they had not had a relationship with one of their parents. And out of what started last week, the Lord just really directed them to go to that parent and ask for forgiveness for whatever that was. And they’ve reconciled. I’ve witnessed generosity, salvation, surrendering. There was a young man [who] shared that he had just felt like he had been running, not knowing what he was supposed to do. But God called him into ministry, and he was stepping into that.
PERKINS: And this was going on around the clock?
JOHNSTON: Oh, yeah. You know, it gets a little smaller between midnight and six o’clock, I can testify. But the intensity doesn’t. But even before chapel started at 10 a.m., four hours before that, there’s reading of Scripture. And that was the other thing. There’s a lot of reading of Scripture throughout. There’s prayer down front individually. Or you can have a prayer counselor with you. It’s very organized in the manner that they have prayer leaders praying with people. They have other people [from] a lot of these other schools that have come — not only to observe, and really, it’s not an observation. You just immediately are drawn into the presence to participate and … worship. You’re going to pray. But they also have people that have just come to serve, to serve the faculty, to serve the students, to clean bathrooms, etc. I mean, literally there were, I don’t know how many, but I can tell you, there were multiple thousands just in line today.
Asbury professor Clint Baldwin also joined Tony to talk about what he’s experienced as a member of the faculty, testifying to what he called “the goodness that’s transpiring.” He explains that this ground has been fertile for a move of God for some time. Hear what else he had to say here: