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Holy Spirit Stirs Student Hearts at Samford University

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Shawn Akers

A movement of the Holy Spirit on the campus of Samford University entered its third day on Saturday, and it has shown little sign of stopping.

A private Christian school on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama, Samford, much like Asbury University, Lee University and others, has seen an outpouring this week. On Friday morning, Kevin Black, assistant to the school’s president, posted an email on social media from President Beck A. Taylor that the “spontaneous, organic, student-led worship” had been going on for 48 hours in the school’s Reid Chapel.

Taylor told Tab Media Group’s Jennifer Rash in an interview that the Holy Spirit has definitely been moving through the students of the Baptist-based school.

“We’ve been hearing about Asbury University for more than a week, where the spirit is moving in unscripted ways to celebrate Jesus,” Taylor says. “A group of our students earlier this week got together and said, why can’t it happen here?

“That group of students began to pray diligently for the Holy Spirit’s stirring on this campus. Sometime on Wednesday afternoon, a small group of students began to pray in Reid Chapel for just that. More than 48 hours later, we have had a continuous praise and worship service going on here at Samford.”

Taylor says he had an opportunity Friday to visit with those students for an extended period of time to ask them what was stirring in their hearts to gather at Reid Chapel. Since it began Wednesday, hundreds of students have congregated at the chapel, and it has continued around the clock. Taylor says the doors have not closed.

“You’ll be happy to know that all of them said that God was present, that Jesus was being honored in worship, in prayer and Scripture reading and preaching, and that students were very serious about it, thinking about their life of faith,” he says. “We’re very prayerful, we’re very humbled and excited about what the Lord is doing here at Samford.”

Taylor says at no time has the student count in the chapel dipped below 50 to 75 students since the worship began Wednesday, and many times, it has seen between 200 and 300.

After an off-campus board meeting Thursday, Taylor says he was greeted by “several hundred students singing and praying.”

“As we allow the Spirit to move among us, let’s resist the temptation to label what’s happening, or to put it into some kind of a neat box. I’m convinced that God is doing a new thing here, and all we’re asked to do is to remain faithful to God’s calling,” Taylor says.

“Our theme this year is Hope. Our hope can be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ,” he continues. “As we worship Jesus today, let’s allow hope to abound in us so that we can spread God’s hope throughout this campus and the world. Keep praying for Samford. God is up to something.” {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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