‘A move of God’: Thousands of students attending revival events, hundreds baptized

By The Christian Post |
Students from the University of Georgia gather at nearby Stegeman Coliseum
Students from the University of Georgia gather at nearby Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia, to attend a gathering by the student evangelism group Unite US on April 3, 2024. | Tonya Prewett
The organizers of a revival gathering at Auburn University last year have been spreading their evangelism efforts to other public universities, with hundreds of students being baptized.

Unite US, which traces its origins to a mass baptism at Auburn last September, has been organizing large gatherings of students at multiple universities in recent months.

In February they held an event at Florida State University in which an estimated 300 people were baptized. Last month, they went to the University of Alabama, with around 260 baptisms occurring.

Last week, Unite US held an event at Stegeman Coliseum, near the University of Georgia, with around 150 people being baptized in the beds of pickup trucks for want of a traditional baptismal setting.  

Unite US is next scheduled to host an event on May 1 at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee, on behalf of students enrolled at the University of Tennessee.

Tonya Prewett, the founder of Unite US, told The Christian Post that the movement “was birthed from a vision God gave me after mentoring college students and hearing about their pain, anxiety and depression.”

“I had a vision of thousands of students gathered in an arena worshiping together. I started meeting with local pastors and ministry leaders in the community sharing the vision,” she recounted.

“Every leader joined in the vision and in about six weeks Unite Auburn took place. We had close to 5,000 students show up for the event and around 200 were baptized that night. Since then we have been to FSU, Alabama and Georgia.

Prewett credited the hundreds of baptisms to “a move of God that can only be explained by Him,” adding that she believes students are “hungry for truth and hope.”

In addition to the spontaneous baptisms, Prewett told CP that her organization was also engaged in following up with the students who made their public professions of faith.

“We were able to get every name and number for each student who was baptized,” said Prewett regarding last week’s event in Georgia.

“Our organization will follow up with each student and will provide a list of every church and campus ministry in the area. For students who requested to be connected with a local church or ministry we will send their name to that ministry.”

Students are baptized
Students are baptized in pick-up trucks outside of the Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia, as part of a gathering by the student evangelism group Unite US on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. | Tonya Prewett

Prewett also told CP that students shared “incredible” testimonies at the event, noting that some “came in contemplating suicide and left full of joy and purpose,” while others who were “bound for years by addictions experienced freedom and joy.”

Jonathan Pokluda, a pastor at Harris Creek Baptist Church of Waco, Texas, spoke at the Georgia gathering, as did Bible teacher and author Jennie Allen, as reported by the UGA student newspaper The Red & Black.

In a statement emailed to CP on Monday, Pokluda said there might be “revival brewing” on college campuses in the United States, as young people “are tired of mundane faith sitting in the periphery of cafeteria visits and late-night benders.”

“There is a movement of college students wanting to live out their faith. They aren't interested in just going to church on Sunday but following Jesus Sunday through Saturday. They are up late into the night worshiping and up early the next morning praying,” said Pokluda.

“They are walking their campuses sidewalks and sharing the Gospel with classmates. They are throwing events that rival large conferences, but they're doing it in what little spare time they have with extraordinary outcomes.”

Pokluda talked about his experiences attending the Asbury Revival last year, in which a spontaneous days-long worship service occurred at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.

“Shortly after we returned home [Prewett] reached out,” he recalled. “She felt led to gather the college students at Auburn University. In just six weeks she had secured the basketball arena, locked down Passion Music to lead worship, and invited Jennie Allen and I to speak.”

When describing the experience at Auburn last year, Pokluda emphasized that it “was not a ‘dunk and next, situation,” but rather “two hundred different Gospel-centered conversations,” saying that they “went slow to confirm that they were believers and baptized past midnight.”

“The momentum is only building,” he said. “From Asbury to Auburn, then Passion to Florida State, college students are wanting something more than church on Sundays or religious rituals.”

“Universities are pregnant with revival.”

Originally published by The Christian Post