Jim Garlow: Presence of God at Asbury ‘a Little Touch of Heaven’
“I would encourage anybody who can to still get to one of these locations, and experience what is happening because it is very precious and it is … pretty life-altering,” Jim Garlow, head of Well Versed, told The Stream in a video interview Tuesday evening. He was referring to the numerous college campuses who have recently reported a move of God like the one seen at Asbury University.
Which universities? Garlow mentioned several: Ohio Christian, Lee, University of the Cumberlands, Indiana Wesleyan, Mount Vernon Nazarene, Regent, Baylor, Texas A&M, Eastern Kentucky — the last two being secular. He also said a number of churches have reported something remarkable in their services, referencing one testimony he posted to his website, which quotes Jay Stewart, pastor of The Refuge Church, saying the 9 a.m. service bled into the 11 a.m. service and didn’t end till after 2 p.m.
“What would it be like … if it just started hitting all the campuses?” Garlow asked.
Garlow related his experience of being at Asbury University: “We flew down Sunday and flew back Monday but got to be there nine hours basking in the glory of heaven, in the presence of the Lord.” He described the meetings on Sunday night and Monday: worship, led by one to three students, acoustic guitar, piano, no lyrics projected on a screen, yet everyone seems to know the words, a group of 30 or 40 students singing and moving about on stage in the place where choirs typically stand.
Garlow was an incoming student at Asbury Seminary in the fall of 1970, and heard reports from fellow students coming back from summer vacation of how the February 1970 revival had spread with them as they traveled for the summer. He said the primary fruit of the 1970 revival was “repentance,” much like the current movement.
He saw this week at Asbury about 25 “prayer counselors” at the front of the auditorium, and aisles were filled with young people waiting in line to pray at the front.
“The lines are lined up coming to the altar to get healing, forgiveness, restoration, repentance, confession of sin, getting right with God. You’ll see many people weeping at the altar. And you get in there and you just don’t want to leave. It’s a little touch of heaven. … When they announced that they were going to start opening up other auditoriums, I thought, well how will that work? … The glory’s at Hughes. I was wrong. They were right. It started spreading.”
Letting the Next Generation ‘Enjoy This’
Garlow referenced that Asbury University leadership is now prioritizing entrance to people ages 25 and younger. “I think that’s a very smart call. They’re investing in the next generation. It’s very wise. Guys like me, I’m happy to sit out, and let the next generation — they’ve gone through so much — and let them enjoy this.”
“To watch them come to the altars continually, just non-stop. The altar was filled. And I looked back the aisle. I was sitting on the aisle. I looked back the aisle,” he said. “All the way back to the auditorium, the aisle was jammed with people in line to get to the altar.”
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Referring to a schedule change, Garlow said, “Some people have said, well is it true they’re canceling the revival? No. They’re trying to export it. Because it’s overwhelmed one town.”
Garlow described the difficulty of responding to the situation, saying it was wise to not shut down classes, as was done in 1970. Leaders have “tenderly shepherded this.” He gave credit to Asbury President Kevin Brown for his leadership and recognition of God’s work: “He says this is not Asbury. This is God.”
Garlow said the expenses were clear: “Porta Potties everywhere. They’re handing out free food, free water, trying to take care of people. … They have hundreds of hundreds of volunteers, guiding people, directing people, praying over people. A lot of people pray. It’s organizationally massive.”
Garlow referenced Tucker Carlson saying Asbury University asked Fox News not to come to film on site, not because of animus towards the show, but because, as Carlson said, “media coverage can’t enhance it. It can only detract from it.”
I got chills watching this.
Tucker Carlson: Asbury University asked us not to come to cover the student-led revival 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rTvLcdo1N4
— Caleb Parke (@calebparke) February 18, 2023
The Collegiate Day of Prayer was already planned to be live streamed from Asbury University on Feb. 24, “so the president wisely kept that in tact.” (The Collegiate Day of Prayer video, published on YouTube Feb. 1, highlights the move of God at Asbury in 1970.)
Garlow repeatedly praised Asbury leadership: “It’s almost as supernatural as the revival itself, how they’ve had wisdom to do what they’ve done.”
Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.