-- By Ali Steadman
-Contributing Writer --
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor hosted its 24th annual spiritual revival on March 27, 28, and 29 on the Quad on campus. The theme for this year’s revival was “Come Home,” which originates from the parable of “The Prodigal Son” in Luke 15.
The Worship Initiative band gave an incredible performance at the revival, and Dale Wallace, the men’s college director at Harris Creek Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, was the speaker.
During each session of revival, students gathered in a large white tent set up in the Quad in front of Walton Chapel and Luther Memorial. The sessions consisted of worship, sermons, and small groups. Freshman education advocacy major and revival small group leader, Kinsley Jones, was excited even during the preparation for Revival.
“I’m really looking forward to the sermons and to meet new friends, and hopeful for revival transformation that goes beyond these three nights!” Jones said.
Three designated students shared their testimonies during each night of Revival. Additionally, there were two services on Wednesday where students could earn chapel credit.
According to Erin Doyle, a sophomore nursing major and 2023 Revival committee member, she and those preparing for the event had high hopes for success.
The UMHB 2023 Revival Committee has been hosting several events in the weeks leading up to the main event to prepare students for Revival. Members hosted a “Root Beer and Revival” earlier in March. Committee members handed out root beer floats and provided more information about Revival, and answered any questions that students had regarding the event.
The theme for the 2023 Revival was “Come Home,” and according to freshman Christian studies major, Selah Cordova, the idea came from prayer.
“The entire committee came up with the theme by praying about it and presenting different ideas to the entire committee,” Cordova said.
“We went on a retreat as a committee and one of the mornings of the retreat we sat in a big group around a white board. Bible verses were shared and different goals were discussed.
After a while, certain verses were chosen based on the groups’ reactions and voices. In the end, the ‘coming home’ was chosen because we felt that it was a message for both long time believers and those who are unbelievers. It also seemed to merge the goals of God choosing us and knowing the importance of that,” Cordova said.
Revival at UMHB is a planned event, but since the revival at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, revivals have been breaking out across the United States.
According to an article by Cincinnati.com titled “What is a revival?” published at the beginning of the Asbury Revival on Feb. 16, 2023, over twenty-thousand students from various universities throughout the U.S. had traveled to Kentucky. One day, Asbury hosted a meeting of more than 3,000 people.
Additionally, according to a Christian broadcast company FISM.tv article “Revival spreading to many colleges across the country,” published on Feb. 8, 2023, revival also broke out on the campus of Cedarville University in Ohio.
This revival began in the same way that the one in Kentucky did, with a small number of students continuing to worship after a regularly scheduled worship service.
These previous revivals that have been taking place all over the U.S. added to the excitement and interest in the upcoming 2023 revival.
“It’s really just like sparked the conversation and the excitement toward it, and I really think that people who have never heard of the event before are questioning, ‘What is this?’” Doyle said.
However, with the extra excitement stimulated by the Asbury revival, Doyle said that her committee stayed focused on UMHB’s own Revival this year.
“Our prayer is that we go off our agenda and scheduled revival and let God do His thing,” Doyle said.
Though the UMHB Revival did not turn into as big of an event as the Asbury Revival, Cordova’s hope for the event remained the same throughout.
“I think Revival is something so special to UMHB’s history and a way to remember the Grace of God over this and to reach out to nonbelievers,” she said.
Photos by Brock Pfrommer/TheBells
Top Photo: Junior accounting major Paige Pfrommer worships during the 10 a.m. revival session on March 29.
Center Photo: The guest band Worship Initiative performs at the morning revival session on March 29th. On the left is bass player John Marc-Kohl, on the right is singer Davy Flowers.