Revival gives ONU a ‘new song’

ONU students worship together during one of the nightly Revival services held at College Church. Worship music was led by Matt Smith, University Pastor and Director of Campus Recreation. Photo by Morgan McCririe

By Justine Espersen

“Come and be made new” resonated with the listeners of Dr. Corey MacPherson, Vice President of Eastern Nazarene College, during Revival Sept. 18 to 21.

Students, faculty, administration and other listeners were challenged to let the Lord “put a new a song in [their] hearts” and to remember that “meanwhile, God is enough.”

One of the “turning points” of Revival happened when Dr. MacPherson asked the ordained members of the congregation to anoint those in need of prayer Tuesday night.

“Corey’s obedience to the word and doing [the anointing] was an affirmation that everyone who was working in Revival was in tune with the Lord,” said Matt Smith, Director of Campus Recreation and University Pastor at College Church. Smith also led the worship music for Revival.

“A lot of folks are in bondage to stuff, all kinds of things. So they really needed this release,” Smith added.

Dr. MacPherson asked listeners to “begin [the] journey of forgiveness” on the last night of Revival.

“I really liked the fact that the forgiveness message was on the last night, because forgiveness is such an important quality to have and can be very tough to obtain,” sophomore Ashley McLaughlin said.

The community was brought together through Dr. MacPherson’s message and Smith’s music directing.

“There was already a great hunger and anticipation for the Lord to move. It was evident the first week here when Chaplain Holcomb was speaking,” Smith said.

In addition to the anticipation, Chaplain Mark Holcomb said students easily connected with MacPherson.

“The thing I like about Corey is that he already has a good understanding of our campus community. He was very honest, open, and transparent,” Holcomb said. “You can have the best speaker in the world [but] if students aren’t willing respond, then it’s pointless. But I believe Corey was the right person at the right time. He’s just what we needed.”

With a familiar face leading worship, it allowed the congregation to connect more easily with the music.

“It was some sweet worship time [that was] definitely needed,” junior Adrian Perez said. “It was good to [have Revival] at the beginning of the year when we can build relationships worshiping [together].”

Holcomb is looking forward to seeing what will happen in students’ spiritual lives after this Revival experience.

“I’m not sure how we as a community have responded yet, we’ll see that over time. But I’m hopeful that whatever happens is a genuine movement of God,” he said.

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