Asbury Rocks to High-Energy Concert
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WILMORE, Ky. — With its Greek revival architecture and golden stained-glass windows, Asbury University’s historic Hughes Auditorium has thundered with inspired evangelism for 85 years. On Thursday evening, the windows buzzed with a high-volume declaration of that same classic message, courtesy of some of the most popular groups in Christian contemporary music.
Several bands, including Dove Award-winning Building 429, Grammy-nominated Hawk Nelson and Dove Award-nominated Family Force 5, made a special stop at Asbury University as part of the “We Won’t Be Shaken” tour sponsored by Chick-fil-A. Over the course of 14 hours, the bands and special guest Satellites & Sirens arrived, unloaded an entire semi’s worth of speakers, sound boards, lights and set pieces, and delivered a high-energy celebration of the kingdom of God for Asbury students, community members and regional fans.
Though the sets, lights and music style of the performers are decidedly modern, the message behind the music seemed right at home on Asbury’s Christian liberal arts campus. Lyrics from Building 429’s song “We Won’t Be Shaken” — including a verse which proclaims “So I'll stand in full surrender / It's Your way and not my own / My mind is set on nothing less / Than You and You alone” — would not be out of place in the hymnals tucked behind each seat in the auditorium.
“What a lot of people don’t know about Building 429 is that we’re very traditional as well,” said Building 429’s lead singer, Jason Roy. “We’re contemporary in our music, but a room like Hughes almost begs you to get to a place of worship.
“I love that room. When I walked in, I loved that room.”
Asbury’s involvement in the Christian music scene is longstanding, dating back to its 40-plus year history with the Ichthus music festival in which Asbury students, faculty and staff filmed main stage events, coordinated ministry workshops and provided leadership on the board. And as in the case at Ichthus, dozens of student volunteers helped make Thursday’s concert a success. From loading and unloading trucks, pulling cables, checking tickets and staffing the merchandise tables, Asbury students fully participated in an opportunity to be a part of a successful music tour — and ultimately, a successful worship experience.
“It’s the human interaction,” Roy said. “It’s what we’re longing for. There’s something more powerful when a group comes together and sings together. To be in a room and see that people are involved in the music is what gets us excited about recording.”