By Katherine Sheets, Managing Editor
For over a hundred years, Asbury has welcomed chapel speakers to the stage to challenge and reinvigorate students’ spiritual lives through the week-long tradition of Fall Revival. Asbury welcomes back Rev. Stan Key for this year’s Revival, held Sept. 11-15.
An Asbury alum, Key currently serves as president of the Francis Asbury Society. He was the 2014 Revival speaker and has spoken multiple times since then during regular semester chapel services. Asbury’s assistant chaplain Jeannie Banter attributes the high amount of student requests for Key’s return to his sound teaching, engaging style and pastoral heart.
According to Asbury’s chaplain, Rev. Greg Haselhoff, Fall Revival used to consist of up to ten different chapel sessions over the course of a week. This year, Revival has seven sessions that span five days. They include regularly scheduled chapels Mon, Wed and Fri at 10 a.m., and four evening services Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m.
Haselhoff said that Fall Revival is a time for intentional focus on Christ and committing the school year to Jesus. The week is designed to have minimal intrusions with other campus activities so that students are able to make Revival a priority. “[It’s a time for] students to examine their spiritual goals for the year,” Haselhoff said. “Revival is a prime opportunity to enter into worship as a way of prioritizing these goals.” He hopes that students are able to receive the teaching in a way that makes their relationship with Christ more clear.
Banter stated that Revival is held in the beginning of the semester with the purpose of setting the tone for the rest of the year. “We start the year with Revival knowing that each of us are coming into the year at different places in our story. [Having] Revival at the beginning is an invitation for each of us to take the next step in our faith journey,” she said. “Wherever you are, the invitation is to more!”
In addition to the week of services, Haselhoff hopes that students will use Revival as a springboard for getting more spiritually involved. Fall Revival draws students’ attention to the opportunities for spiritual growth during the semester, including men’s and women’s retreats, small groups and spiritual mentoring.
“We want more fullness of life that is found in Christ Jesus for each person in our community and our prayer is that He would move in a mighty way during this week as He has so faithfully done throughout the decades,” Banter said.