'They Wanted Jesus... It Was so Sincere': Author Jennie Allen Shares About Mass Baptism at Auburn
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God is continuing to move mightily on college campuses across the country, with one of the latest campuses to experience revival being Auburn University in Alabama. Recently, a Christian event inside Auburn's Neville Arena led to roughly 200 students spontaneously being baptized in a nearby lake afterward.
CBN News spoke with Jennie Allen, bestselling author and founder of IF:Gathering, who was involved in Unite Auburn's "Night of Worship," about what happened that night as God poured out His Holy Spirit on the arena.
"It was such a move of God," Allen explained. "I've been a part of moments like that in the past, specifically with Gen Z, and I want to say that because there is something very special happening right now, I believe, in their hearts. I think they are they are hungry for God and they want God in a very real way. This is not manufactured."
Allen says plans for the event began just six weeks prior after one of the organizers, Tonya Prewett, wife of Auburn's assistant basketball coach Chad Prewett, had a dream. Allen explains they had no idea whether a few hundred kids would come or a few thousand, but an hour before the event began half the stadium was full and by the end an estimated 6,000 students had gathered to worship God together.
"That night, we finished and you could feel the Spirit in the room and it was just such a powerful night," recalled Allen.
Allen tells CBN News when she got off the stage a pastor from one of the local churches who helped lead the event showed her a text from a student who told him she wanted to be baptized that night.
"I go up on the stage, it was that fast, and I said, 'Hey, there's somebody that wants to get baptized tonight. Would anybody else want to trust Christ and be baptized tonight?' And dozens of hands were raised all over the arena," says Allen. "It was wild, I mean we - so they say it was 6,000 students, I don't know how many students it was, but at least half of them began to walk down the road and we all gathered around the lake and over 200 kids were baptized. We had to finally close the night down, I don't know how long we would have been there."
"We didn't just baptize them we got to hear their stories and they got to tell us why they wanted to do this tonight," explained Allen. "So many of them were just tired of the darkness that they were living in and they wanted Jesus and they wanted a different way to live and it was so sincere."
Allen credits the prayers and support of the local churches around Auburn for ushering in this movement of the Lord at Auburn University. Allen says the local pastors were the first in the water baptizing the students, building a plan on the fly for the students coming forward to receive Christ, and getting their members to follow up with the attendees.
Allen says this isn't the first time she's witnessed something like this happen, and she believes Gen Z is prime for revival.
"They are coming from a pretty dark environment and most of them have lived a pretty non-God existence prior to these moments," explains Allen.
"I remember the first time I ever spoke to Gen Z it was at Texas A&M, and this was in 2018, so it's just the first time they were in the room, and that was a night that spontaneously again I had not planned it, we did confession of sin at the end and they stood up across, again and it was a small stadium there's just probably 2,000 people there, and they began to stand up and yell out their sin in front of their roommates, in front of their friends, they were yelling out things like suicidal thoughts and sex addiction and alcohol abuse and all of these things that they were just screaming out in front of their friends," recalled Allen.
"And I thought, 'Something is different.' They wanted God more than they wanted approval from their friends," continued Allen. "They wanted God more than they wanted to be accepted and respected, and it was - that was the first time that it happened, and I thought, 'What is what is going on?' And then I continue to see it again. It's different things every place. It's not some formula. It's just they want God and they pretty much bypass all of us to get Him."
Allen says her advice for those who want to experience this in their own communities is to pray.
"I'm not surprised that after that night happened, I had a group of girls reach out that had been praying by the lake, of all places, that we baptized. And they've been praying on Fridays and leading worship and asking God to move, so I believe it starts with prayer," declared Allen.
"This rose out of places that people were asking God to move and so I believe it is for all of us to pray for that to happen and then to be open to the Spirit," said Allen.
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