The Outpouring – Asbury University
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The Outpouring

On Feb. 8, 2023, what began as a routine Wednesday morning Chapel service with the student body turned into a multiweek Outpouring that some have described as a revival. Led by students, the services attracted college students from hundreds of other colleges and universities, beginning as soon as Wednesday evening.

Then, news of the continuous services spread around the world, and attracted people to Wilmore from as far away as Russia and Japan. Media outlets arrived en masse to cover the spiritual awakening among young people. Countless reports of life change, salvation, and re-dedications to Christ were some of the amazing results of the Outpouring events. Asbury staff, faculty, students and volunteers worked tirelessly to welcome the visitors to campus, with orderly lines to get into Hughes extending a half mile long around campus.

Since then, the community has worked to share what God did, and spread the Gospel and testimonies of life change. Also, Asbury’s pastoral care staff is working to disciple and mentor students impacted through the Outpouring.

Read more and watch Dr. Brown’s video message on the Outpouring page.


God began a great work in me

By Alexandra Presta ’23, Executive Editor of the Asbury Collegian

The Asbury Community Welcomes Visitors from Around the World

Alexandra Presta ’23

It’s still hard to verbalize everything that happened during the overwhelming Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a place I have called home for the past four years.

I don’t know how many people came. I heard tens of thousands, and from how I watched people crowd Hughes Auditorium and line up across the entirety of campus for multiple days, even that number seems low.

I also don’t know how long it lasted or, rather, how long it’s lasting. It started on Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. with a message from pastor Zach Meerkreebs about love from Romans 12. Yet, even as Asbury stopped hosting public services, the Lord continues to move across the Wilmore community, Kentucky, the United States, and the world.

I count it as a blessing, though, that none of us know for sure all the details of everything that happened. That’s for God to know and reveal when He wants to. I care more about the limitless testimonies of how God showed up in a way my generation has never experienced before.

An anonymous senior confessed feelings of anger and then a fear of repenting. God provided peace and restoration. “And now,” they said. “The pit in my stomach is gone.” Freshman Bobilyn Carr felt like she “didn’t have a community.” When the Outpouring began, God stirred her heart.

“God began a great work in me,” she said. “He has given me a peace I don’t understand, and He has shown me that I am loved, seen and known by Him.” During a call of confession, at least a hundred people fell to their knees and bowed at the altar. Hands rested on shoulders, linking individual people together to represent the Body of Christ truly. Cries of addiction, pride, fear, anger and bitterness sounded, each followed by a life-changing proclamation: “Christ forgives you.”

Freshman Kade Edler shared about how the months prior to the Outpouring contained some of the darkest times in his life. He cried out to God to break him out of this cycle.

“I have confessed everything I have ever done, and since I did that, I have felt so free,” Edler said. “There were people I have never met who were praying over me and shared their stories with me. I have been surrounded by a community of brothers who will push me to seek God with my whole heart.”

I remember Asbury during 2020. Not only did the coronavirus keep us physically apart, but there was division across campus. There were cliques based on majors, classes, athletics, political preferences and more.

Our loving God fought against it. He brought us together and is continuing to mold us into a stronger community. After all, He is a God of unity. Why else would His Spirit fall on a bunch of students on a random Wednesday morning?

“We’re learning to love across greater boundaries and rifts,” junior Dakota Poole said. “We’re learning about the effort love takes. If God is love, and He crosses boundaries, we’re called to do the same.”

Testimonies, preaching, Scripture reading and prayer continued in between Spirit-led worship sessions. Different pieces of art filled the upper stage in between college students sitting and standing on metal bleachers. Confession and forgiveness poured out. Some people stretched their hands up and sang as loud as they could. Others fell to their knees or remained still, wanting to simply sit in the presence of God.

Everything that occurred at Asbury and that continues to occur here — the healing, the weeping, the rejoicing — is not because of the building. Has revival occurred on these floors and across the seats before? Yes, and what a glorious experience it was for all those involved. But it didn’t happen because the sun lit the room in a specific way. It didn’t happen because of the particular people leading or the songs sung.

The moments I’ve seen — a woman in the front row still with her hand barely raised and tears in her eyes, a huddle of friends sitting on the ground in desperate prayer, the heart of an Asbury student running to Dollar General to buy coffee and supplies and so much more — have occurred because Jesus is listening, moving and speaking.

“This is not just an Asbury thing,” President Dr. Kevin Brown said in Hughes on Feb. 10. “This is a Kingdom thing.”

God knew what we needed to do and helped us do it. It happened because of Jesus. Everything happening here right now, and everything that will happen is because of Jesus. Oh, what a beautiful name it is.


Feeding God’s Sheep

The overwhelming generosity of friends and strangers, alike, blessed those attending the Outpouring.

Tucker family prayerfully trusted God would provide

After hearing of the Outpouring on Asbury’s campus through social media, small business owner Brad Tucker and his family traveled over two hours to station a food truck in Wilmore and provide hot, fresh meals for those attending the services at no charge.

“The Lord told me to come and feed his sheep,” said Tucker.

The family’s home church donated supplies and ingredients to kick off the act of service, but after a few days of feeding the community, the Tucker family prayerfully trusted that God would provide.

“If it’s the Lord’s will, we hope that He multiplies the food so we can be here as long as you guys are,” explained Tucker, with a bright smile. Many days consisted of cooking and serving of 600 hot dogs or any food that was donated to the truck, which lasted most days of the Outpouring. “It’s Spirit-led and has no names attached to it,” marveled Tucker. “It’s Jesus.”

Other organizations such as The Salvation Army, One Way Coffee, Chick-fil-A, Joella’s Hot Chicken and many others also served food free of charge during the Outpouring to bless visitors and the Asbury community, alike.

A Witness to Revival

By Rev. Diane Nelson ’83 Ury

Diane Nelson ’83 Ury

At age 19, I transferred to Asbury College. I did not yet know Jesus, barely even knew anything about Him.

My first day in Chapel in Hughes Auditorium, I had no idea what we were doing or why. Then the singing started. I had never heard that kind of singing. I saw kids my own age singing robustly from their hearts and opening their own Bibles during the preaching. They seemed to understand what the preacher was talking about. They flooded down to that rail thing, and I heard they were meeting God there. I was so drawn to the whole deal, fascinated by people who knew Jesus and loved Him. This made me extremely curious and filled my soul with longing. I had many intellectual struggles with religion, but in my heart the Spirit allowed me to place hope in these new friends and their experiences of knowing God. After a few months of seeking, I heard His Voice for myself, and I have never recovered from that beautiful sound.

On February 8, 2023, at Asbury University, the risen, living Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, came to offer His heart of holy love to the student body. To “revive” means to “re-life.” The Father had heard their cries; He’d seen their pain, fear, anxiety, sin and captivity. Jesus came to rescue them and to bring them into His very Life. He poured out His Spirit upon and into those who would receive Him. Many did, and many were curious.

What the curious found when they heard Jesus say, “Come and see!” because His presence was safe despite the darkness of their sin. His light-bringing conviction came forth from His loving heart, and they found rest.

While I was ministering on the prayer team at the altar in Hughes, I took in the continual worship rhythm of Scripture, testimony and proclamation. Never did people stop coming to the altar or worshiping. The sense I got was mutual giving and receiving between us and Jesus, bringing joy to both. And, there was something like a swell in the room — not only volume, but quality fullness.

Emotionalism could have driven the worship, but the student team never went there. Students indeed led us continually to focus on Jesus; our King and Redeemer, our Knower and Lover and Healer.

By the time I arrived it was day nine, and I recognized my 19-year-old self in these seekers from near and far. The response of the Asbury University students openly coming to Jesus, worshiping Him with abandon, testifying to cleansing from sin, deliverance from anxiety, and fullness of joy unleashed the latent, but fully human created longing for God in young people all over the country and the world! They were invited by the Spirit to “Come and see!” what Jesus was doing in the lives of kids their own age.

Meeting and praying with them at “that rail thing” was such a joy. Some came speechless, with nothing to offer but tears of Thanksgiving. Many came wanting Jesus for the first time ever, even though they had no Christian vocabulary for their longings. I asked each person if they’d ever given their lives to Jesus. For those who hadn’t yet given their lives to Him, we together walked with them into the goodness of who He is and what He has done for them. They confessed their sins aloud to Jesus. With each statement their voices rose in intensity of joy and freedom.

The Lord has pleasure in those who fear, those who wait upon His unfailing Love.

Psalm 147:11

A guy drove a thousand miles, was the first one in the door, ran to the altar and threw himself on the floor heaving in despair for an hour. He found help and hope.

An addict just out of rehab who’d lost his family and everything else, received the risen Savior’s life into his own, walking back to his seat a new creation.

A wisp of a high school girl drove all the way from the Rocky Mountains, mustered the courage to come forward for cleansing of her sinful behavior, and experienced freedom from self-harm and anxiety. When we hugged before she went back to her seat she looked like a different person. Because she was!

A middle aged, newly divorced woman came to know Jesus as the One Who truly completes her, Who will never abandon her. She’d been a Christian for decades, but had never talked directly to Jesus. She was undone. It was beautiful.

I gave a new Bible to one woman and had her underline a verse I showed her. She kept reading, grabbed the pen and underlined more verses. Later I saw her in the crowd with her new Bible clutched to her heart, smiling and singing gloriously.

In the crowds coming to see how and why there’s so much hope in central Kentucky, Jesus never sees a crowd. He sees each person individually, hears their cries, loves them, speaks to their hearts, “Come to Me.”

An inside look

Asbury faculty, staff, and volunteers captured many behind-the-scenes images on their phones during the Outpouring.

Hundreds of Alumni Gather Virtually to Pray Over the Outpouring

Faculty and staff began receiving emails, texts, and calls asking about what was happening at Asbury in February and had no way to answer them all during the Outpouring. Director of Alumni Relations Lisa Falin ’90 Harper received a text from former alumni board member, Kim Kyriakidis ’92 George Race, asking for a Zoom prayer time for her class and planted the idea for an alumni prayer time. And that’s what happened on February 18, with more than 500 alumni joining the virtual prayer time.

“As more and more alumni joined us, the tears started flowing,” said Harper. “What a beautiful gift to see your ‘family,’ and the Asbury team had no idea how much we needed it.”

Many stories and prayer requests were shared on the call, including Asbury President Dr. Kevin Brown highlighting the incredible effort made by faculty, students, staff, and community members to host those whom God had brought to Wilmore. He shared the sweet sense of God’s holy presence and specifically asked for prayers of protection – both physical and spiritual. Prayers were asked for wisdom and discernment and that the focus would remain on Jesus.

“Joining hearts with alumni to intercede on behalf of our current student body, campus visitors and individuals across the world was incredibly tender, a moment I will never forget,” said Melissa Richards ’24, who prayed on behalf of the student body. “There was just something so special about praying with people of differing generations and backgrounds, but all whose stories crossed and were formed at Asbury. What a blessing!”

After the designated prayer time ended, the call closed with, “And all God’s people said Amen.”

“The cacophony of Amens still brings tears to my eyes. So beautiful are the people of God and this Asbury family,” reflected Harper. “We are grateful.”

To join the monthly alumni prayer gatherings on Zoom on the first Thursday of each month, which originated in 2020, reach to out

Countless Asbury students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends have stories to share of what they experienced during the Outpouring. Here are a few:


The Outpouring was something that I needed because it made me a witness that God still moves in His people today. It also showed me that our generation is like Timothy in the Bible: We are inexperienced when it comes to preaching the word of God, yet we hunger to know Him more and more every day. Lastly, it showed me that God places us in different paths of life because He wants us to grow. His word never returns empty-handed. It always makes an impact in the hearts of those who hear Him.

Eswin Monroy ’23

While serving as a volunteer coordinator, I witnessed time and time again God’s miraculous provision. Hundreds of volunteers came to serve in any capacity asked of them. ‘I’m here to serve and do whatever is needed’ was the common theme. Food and water for those waiting in line was delivered just as supplies would run low with no resupply anticipated. Carloads of snacks from other communities arrived unannounced, anonymous orders of 50 pizzas were delivered on more than one occasion, and the list goes on and on. I am humbled to have served alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit. My life is forever changed.

Margaret Torres
Academy Admissions Officer and Special Events Coordinator

I thought that chapel would be a normal service, and I planned to go about my day. But after Pastor Meerkrebs finished, there was another song that played, and it just felt different. God’s presence suddenly spoke to my heart in a way that compelled me to stay for a bit longer. I stayed for a bit after the service and returned after lunch when I heard that the service was still going.

Donovan Chung ’26

I answered incoming calls at the switchboard during the Outpouring. I spoke to a lady who called seeking confirmation that God was truly moving in a powerful way in our midst. Three days later, she drove four hours to Wilmore, not to worship in Hughes, but just to find me, hug me tightly, and give me this message from God: that I am seen and known, and that He sees my pain, and it will become a memory. This message was a direct answer to my prayers and a confirmation of His love that went beyond head knowledge and faith to heart knowledge and experience.

Brenda Hilbert
Assistant Director of Human Resources and Risk Management

One of the ways I was blessed was seeing God using a diverse group of students to lead in singing and in prayer. I also was blessed to spend time hearing from students and praying with students in the Center for Academic Excellence, in classes, and in the Abide space that was set up in the Luce Auditorium. While the majority of the attention was on Hughes, I was able to see and experience the Holy Spirit showing up in other areas around campus in a variety of different ways.

Dr. Henry Zonio ’97
Director of the Center for Academic Excellence

While serving as an usher, I witnessed hours-long lines of people waiting patiently to enter into God’s presence. There are two simple yet profound words that I would use to describe what I saw: holy longing! I was deeply moved by the glory of God and the hunger and thirst by the people of God.

Dr. Dawn Kilian
Director of Intercultural Life

Sophomore Eliza Crawford completed an art project for class showcasing the known global impact of the Outpouring. Crawford shared that she hopes the project brings hope to others.


Through the Outpouring, I had the incredible privilege of encountering God’s glory, greatness, holiness, and gentleness. It was as if I was seeing Him in a new light — much greater and holier than I had ever imagined before. This led me to repent for not truly believing in God as He is.

Dr. Sam Kim
Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies

His Spirit changed the atmosphere and went beyond Hughes. The most precious moments I had involved meaningful conversations in the dining hall and meeting new people throughout the city who had a hunger for God. Jesus is truly amazing, and I am so grateful that I had the chance to encounter His presence in such a tangible way on this campus before I graduate.

Charity Johnson ’23

In the last couple of weeks, I cannot help but think of Jesus as so much more present and active in my life. My prayer life has been reignited and I depend on His Spirit even more day to day. Jesus has brought me deep-seated joy and peace by reminding me of how good He is.

Zeke Atha ’23

God completely changed my life through the Outpouring of His Spirit. He has placed new callings on my heart. Now, I know my job is to go and spread the fire that He released here.

Khalil Akiky ’22

The Lord showed me the vastness of His love and His ability to work in the lives of everyone at once. His intentionality and care are the same for me as for every person, no matter where we are.

Izzy Miller ’23

I didn’t feel called to the altar. I do not have a revolutionary confession. Yet I know I felt the presence of the Lord in a way many described as ‘a glimpse of heaven.’ The Asbury community humbly served together — displaced from their usual ‘day jobs’ — to welcome thousands of visitors who came to encounter the living God.

Christine Kiel Endicott
Asbury Director of Conference Services

The Outpouring gave me a deeper understanding of the body of Christ through a global lens. After seeing people come to Wilmore from so many nations and backgrounds, I have a greater hunger for God in my daily life.

Jena Pelletier ’23