Three Howard Payne students spoke at an evangelism class taught by Roy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, on February 28 to report on "the activity of God" in Brownwood. Roy reported that what happened that day "had all of the marks of a revival." Other students from Howard Payne later spoke at Houston Baptist University and Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
On March 1, John spoke to an overflow crowd at Southwestern Baptist's Truett Auditorium about the events at Brownwood, resulting in seven hours of confession and prayer by students, faculty, and administrators. Students said that there was "an outpouring of healing, purging and cleansing among students, faculty, staff and administrators" ("Confession-Filled Chapel Service on March 1 Marks Spiritual Awakening at Southwestern," Press Release, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1 March 1995). Avant said the he witnessed deep, gut-level and spontaneous confessions of sins. "I saw a lot of brokenness and some genuine healing," he said. "I was amazed by the comradery among the students. Someone would share and immediately five or six people would stand around them and pray. One of the most moving experiences was when a white man admitted racism and two or three black guys almost carried him off the stage hugging him" (Bob, "Southwestern Revival Spreads into Surrounding Community," 7 March 1995). Southwestern student Bobby was surprised at the wide range of sins confessed by his fellow seminarians. "It's scary because most of them are prominent leaders of churches. Their confessions made me realize how much more I've got to have my act together" (ibid). Avant said that Southwestern professors such as Roy and Malcolm first gave him a love for revival while he was a student on campus. The meetings at Southwestern continued for several weeks with "extended chapel services lasting all day long, with students and faculty confessing their sins publicly and praying for forgiveness and cleansing from the Lord. There is a strong Presence of the Holy Spirit in the meetings, which are not being led by any one person" According to Bob, various ministers of churches in Fort Worth reported that their congregations were experiencing or close to experiencing great movements of God similar to the one which took place during the March 1 chapel service at Southwestern. For example, "One supernatural event was an hour- long youth meeting at Southwayside Baptist Church on the evening of March 1 that turned into a three-hour time of confession, according to youth worker and Southwestern student Bobby" (ibid). This took place after some Southwestern students gave testimonies of how God touched them in the seminary chapel.
John and Robeson later spoke at Beeson Baptist Theological Seminary on March 7 at a three-hour service during which dozens of people went forward to pray, confess pride and lust, and seek reconciliation in personal relationships. Beeson's dean, Timothy, said that this was something that they had been "praying and yearning for" Southwestern's president, Ken, described the events as "a genuine moving of God and the beginning of authentic spiritual revival" (ibid).
At Wheaton College, some students from Howard Payne University, James and Brandi, gave their testimonies at a weekly meeting of the World Christian Fellowship at Pierce Chapel on March 19 that lasted from 7:30 pm to 6 am the following day, when the custodial staff asked the remaining 400 people (of a total of 900) to leave so that the building could be cleaned. During that meeting, after each student spoke, friends gathered around to embrace and pray for him or her. Five large garbage bags were filled with bottles of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, pornography, and secular music. Subsequent meetings were moved to College Church at Wheaton to facilitate the larger crowds (1,350 to 1,500 according to chaplain Kellough, but closer to 1800 according to John K., a professor of English at SUNY-Oswego and an alumnus of Wheaton who attended the Thursday meeting).
Steve, wrote on March 25, "This thing has been almost entirely student led--there were lines and lines of people engaged in confession and restitution. Loads of pornography, alcohol, cigarettes, ungodly CDs and tapes were being brought to the meetings as part of the confession. And people were coming forward to receive salvation in Christ. . . . It has been affecting more than just the students on campus. Young people from area churches have been attending. Because the meetings had officially been ended, at least one group of young people continued to meet at their own church last night (Friday) for prayer."
Richard wrote, "The revival began on Sunday evening after some special speakers (from another college, we believe) had addressed the student body. One young man was so moved that he went forward to confess his sins. (He is something of a campus leader.) He left the chapel to pray with some other students, and when he returned, people were lined up all the way to the back of the auditorium waiting to confess their sins. This went on far into the night until early Thursday morning when the last person got to the microphone. Thursday night the administration scheduled a praise service to thank God for moving on the campus. . . There has been racial and gender reconciliation and all across the campus there is a great spirit of quiet joy. . . . The report is that about four hundred students have made a commitment to missions or other Christian service because of their gratitude for what the Lord has done for them" On March 23, Joel wrote to Teresa, "we have been having meetings all this week starting in the evening and running until the next morning. The one tonight ran from 9:30 until 2:30 in the morning." Another student wrote, "What would happen was that after a period of singing, people would line up to confess publicly, and as soon as they were done, they would be mobbed by fifteen to twenty people who would gather around them and pray for them. There was a lot of crying as people unloaded sins that they had carried with them for a long time. . . . God is definitely at work and the number of people who attend continues to grow each night as the word spreads by mouth. We have had people from the community there, faculty, and students from Northwestern, DePaul, North Park, Loyola, and several others."
David of New Life Community Church in Concord, Mass., wrote (25 March 1995), "I pastor a cell church in Concord, MA. While we were meeting in a home Tuesday night (March 21), a woman in our group receive a phone call from her son, a senior at Wheaton. He reported that he has never experienced anything like what was going on there. His classmates, who could have cared less what they watched on television or how they reacted in terms of behavior, were crying out to God, shedding tears. People were lining up to confess their sins in the chapel. There is a sense of the awesome and holy presence of God. . . . The passion for God born of this move of the Spirit is obvious."
Joel wrote to Jennifer on 24 March, "Tonight we emphasized thanksgiving and praise since everyone finished confessing late Wednesday night. The place was absolutely packed! We had an open mike again tonight for people to get up and talk about what they had discovered during the past week. Two people were saved and when they said this, the place went crazy! We also had a call tonight for people to go into the missions field and between 200 and 400 went forward (my judgement is not good, so I couldn't tell you the exact number)! Then we sang some praise and worship songs and the place absolutely EXPLODED! People were shouting and jumping around because they couldn't contain themselves. Afterward people were running around hugging and laughing with each other. I was completely floored! The Holy Spirit was flexing his muscles and Satan fled in a big way!"
A detailed account of the revival at Wheaton College has been written by Lyle, in the fourth chapter of ACCOUNTS OF A CAMPUS REVIVAL: WHEATON COLLEGE 1995, edited by Timothy B. and Lyle D. (Wheaton, Ill.: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1995), pp. 75-92.
At The Criswell College, 150 students prayed and repented for four hours after hearing testimony from some Howard Payne students. Then, Doug Minton, pastor of First Baptist Church of Corinth, Texas, reported that his church experienced revival for weeks after a visit from Howard Payne students. At an evangelism conference for the Illinois Baptist State Convention, more than 500 people stayed for four hours to pray and repent after John Avant described these events. During the next week, There were more than six similar incidents reported by those who had been at this conference.
By April 17, the NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RELIGION REPORT (17 April 1995), vol. 9, no. 9, p. 1, reported that thousands more students, as well as some faculty and administration members, had "participated in public confession, restitution, and reconciliation" in colleges throughout the U.S., including Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, Illinois Baptist College in Galesburg, Ill., Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass...