Spiritual Renewal Spreads at Anderson University
By Josh Tandy and Becca Palmer
Revival. Outpouring. Renewal. These are words that have been used to describe the move of God happening at Asbury University and at countless other universities and churches across the country and the world. Many have asked, What is happening at Anderson University? Yes, while it does look different, we, too, are seeing God at work in the lives of our students in mighty ways.
There has been what has felt like a fresh wind and a stirring happening on campus, particularly this semester. While we are used to participation and energy taking a dip in the gray days of February, this year we have felt the opposite. Ministries have started to gain momentum. Students started telling us how God was working in their lives and how some were pursuing Jesus for the first time. Applicants for next year’s student leadership doubled in number. A new passion and bold commitment to Jesus arising was evident.
As news of the outpouring at Asbury broke out, several students went to experience it for themselves. One student said seeing others with such zeal gave permission for them to fully lean in to what they had been praying and longing for. We started to see small groups praying and worshiping around campus at all times of the day.
Every spring, our prayer ministry hosts “Encounter: 24 Hours of Prayer.” At the request of our students, Encounter was scheduled for this week and extended to 48 hours of prayer. Our students did an amazing job planning, facilitating, praying over, and leading worship during this time. The peace of God was present in Miller Chapel, and it seemed as though students were drawn to this place of prayer. Large groups stayed late through the night, even bringing their homework to study and then head back in for more prayer.
After the first night of Encounter, three students expressed an interest in being baptized. As we arranged to baptize them at the pool after Encounter concluded, we spread the word, and the number of students who told us they wanted to be baptized grew every day. Our student-led worship session, 10:07, had so many students packed into Miller Chapel, and it lasted until 2:00 in the morning!
The Wednesday evening event in Bennett Natatorium was like none other that I have experienced during my time at AU. Students poured into the room to celebrate those declaring Christ as their Savior. The energy, tears, and excitement was palpable. We baptized 12 students Wednesday night, and the joy was contagious. Two hundred more students filed into Bennett Natatorium to cheer on their peers and bear witness to the Spirit’s work. Praise God for the true transformation that is happening in the lives of students!
We are happy to share this story with you in thankfulness and in true testament to the work of the Holy Spirit in this place. None of this was our doing. We feel very strongly that our role is to support students, let them lead us, and to stay in step with the Spirit.
We believe the power and presence of the Lord is the same at Asbury, at Anderson, and is where you find yourself today. May you also experience the transformative love of Jesus in new ways!
Josh Tandy serves as campus pastor for Anderson University. Becca (Pruitt) Palmer serves as director of spiritual formation for Anderson University. Republished by permission.
Learn more about Anderson University at www.anderson.edu. Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org. Feature (top) photo: AU baptisms.