NewsNational News


Thousands flock to KY town for 24/7 revival that has jolted a small town

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 21, 2023

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18)— Life is expected to return to normal on the campus of Asbury University in Kentucky this week.

That’s the hope, at least, for officials at the Christian university, who faced challenges they never expected after a worship service just wouldn't end. It’s gone on for about two weeks straight.

University officials originally announced on Saturday that the revival would end Wednesday night, with limited periods where the public could attend on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

On Sunday those plans shifted after parking and seating “exceeded capacity.”

Beginning Tuesday the public service will shift to another location while high school and college-aged students will be able to attend in person at Asbury through Thursday evening.

One reason the revival is ending is because of the impact it has had on students academically.

“Students have not only had to juggle various campus commitments (academic, athletic, extra-curricular, internship) with our various campus services, but also the throngs of people who have entered the dimensions of their space,” wrote Asbury University president Dr. Kevin J. Brown. “For some, this has created a sense of being unsettled and even alienation from their campus community.”

First-year student, Clara May, said she wouldn't trade the experience during the revival for anything, but acknowledged it has been a lot to handle.

“It's been hard to keep up on academic and investing in where God wants me to invest and figuring out where I’m supposed to be at what times,” she said.

Another contributing factor has been the impact on the local community. Cars have flooded into the city in recent days, taking up parking spots and making it difficult for people who live in town to get around.

“Everything’s just kind of clogged up,” said Katie Coogan, who lives down the street from the university. She says it’s a struggle to visit the local grocery store because people attending the revival have filled the parking lot, forcing some people trying to buy their groceries to pull up to the loading dock.

Multiple other people in town shared similar views. They are not against the revival, but they don't like the way it has impacted their community.

“People overhauling have been overly gracious though we realize that it's been difficult. We know there has been noise we know there has been traffic so we don't want to discount those concerns,” said Abby Laub, the university’s communications director.

She said they recognize what they are doing is not sustainable because of the thousands of visitors. She added they estimate tens of thousands have come to their campus for the revival since it began.

“It is going to be a relief to get back to our small-town life and also just be able to get to the places we need to get to,” said Coogan.

This story was originally reported by Ricky Sayer on