RUN THE RACE: Was Asbury Revival Authentic? A Free Methodist Bishop from Georgia Went There

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 4:45 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A revival broke out from a regular Wednesday chapel service at Asbury University in the small town of Wilmore, Kentucky. It led to approximately 16 straight days of nonstop worship, prayer, preaching at their church, drawing thousands of people from around America, even the world. Our guest on this week’s “Run The Race” podcast is a major Christian leader – based in Columbus GA – who went to see what it was really like at Asbury.

Free Methodist Church (FMC) Bishop Keith Cowart – who has helped plant 5 different churches - oversees 1/3 of the U.S. and Free Methodist world missions in Europe and the Middle East.

Was the revival that made headlines out of Kentucky authentic? He talks on the podcast about one of the reasons it was real and of God was because the worship team and sermons were “unremarkable.” He explains.

“This revival was not planned. People have been praying for months for this, for years for a spiritual awakening in the U.S.,” Dr. Cowart told us. “God moves when he decides to move. We didn’t know it was coming.”

He added, college students continued leading this, not big time Christian artists and preachers that showed up at Asbury.

Dr. Cowart describes what a “move of the Spirit” is - how it involves hearts being softened and obedience. He also talks about the profound response of people flooding to the altar, many dealing with broken relationships and immediately going to ask for forgiveness.

There’s also been criticism about how the revival ended at Asbury, but Bishop Cowart says the intention is to go and multiply, to biblically build out not up,

One of the potential results of revival, according to Bishop Cowart, is breaking down denominational walls, bringing unity to churches, being Kingdom oriented not political.

As a FMC Bishop, he believes it would help for more of us to have a global perspective, after seeing the miraculous ways people are coming to Christ in the Middle East. A key factor to see that in America, he believes, is desperation or wanting Jesus more than anything else. Dr. Cowart saw that in the Generation Z kids at Asbury and says we could all die more to our comforts.

We also talked on the pod, which you can subscribe to, about questions like this: Aren’t there enough churches? He explains why planting churches bring a freshness that brings more people to faith. And what happens next after this revival? Bishop Cowart says it’s about surrendering to the Lord and being available to be used and impact those that are part of our everyday life.

You can hear our full podcast conversation with Bishop Keith Cowart or listen to any other in-depth chats we have focused on faith and/or fitness by going to