FM72 follows in footsteps of Asbury revival, encourages personal encounters with God

The performers at FM72 led the audience in songs of worship throughout the second night of the 72-hour event Monday. Grace Everett | Photographer

By Abigail Gan | Reporter

FM72 has made its annual return to campus just a month after the Asbury University revival sparked a worship movement at Baylor and other Christian colleges.

This year, all events are taking place on Fountain Mall when they have traditionally been held at McLane Stadium. Through Wednesday, a prayer tent is set up for 72 hours of uninterrupted prayer with nightly worship gatherings held at 8 p.m.

Freddy Kearney, worship and young adults director at Harris Creek Baptist Church, got involved with FM72 last year and is leading worship for two of the nights this year. He said the recent revivals at Asbury and beyond have allowed college students to see what God is doing in other places and to desire true revival in Waco and at Baylor.

“If anything, Asbury has prepped the hearts of our students,” Kearney said. “They want to lean in. They want to see God. They want to experience guidance. FM72 does a great job of creating that environment, that atmosphere. Hopefully this will spark something similar to Asbury.”

Austin Murray, college pastor at Antioch Church and one of the hosts for FM72, said the Asbury University revival has given everyone a heightened expectation of what God can do.

“This year feels like anything’s possible,” Murray said. “The prior years, it was … building. This year, it feels like the lid’s off what could happen at FM72.”

The theme of FM72 this year is how to pray. Murray said the programming and speakers are returning to the grassroots to accomplish this.

“We’ve had incredible teachers over the past few years, but [we wanted to bring in] people who carried a unique message that could inspire our students to love God more and to obey him more,” Murray said. “Some of the names no one’s ever heard of. … It’s just a sweet lady from Highland, who isn’t famous at all but is famous to God, and who’s fought for her faith and has done incredible things.”

Drew Humphrey, college pastor at Highland Baptist Church, has been a part of FM72 since it began in 2018 and coordinates the worship gatherings. He said the idea for FM72 was born at a monthly breakfast gathering of college ministers from churches and on-campus ministries, and the initial team of six people has grown to a core team of about 25 people.

He said FM72 has gained immense momentum at Baylor over the past few years.

“I feel like it’s becoming very integrated in the culture of campus,” Humphrey said. “Five years later, you just get to see what God has done.”

He said the team has tried to promote diversity in both its leadership and its worship styles; however, he said not everyone’s song preferences can be met all the time, but it’s a chance to hear new perspectives.

“If you’re looking at this list and there’s two or three songs that you don’t like, that’s exactly by design. That means we did our job,” Humphrey said.

When it comes to set lists, Humphrey said there are several important elements to consider.

“The theology of the song matters a lot, and so we want to make sure that the songs honor God, and they are theologically and biblically accurate,” Humphrey said.

Kearney said his hope is people of all backgrounds attend FM72 and hearts change.

“Since Baylor is a Christian university, I feel like it can be easy to just be there and go through whatever hoops you have to jump through with whatever emotions you have to have, or just be there and not even be a professing believer at all,” Kearney said. “But my prayer is that the skeptic — the one who feels far from God — will experience God at FM72.”

At its core, Murray said FM72 is about prayer.

“It’s about prayer, and it’s about a desire for God to meet with us,” Murray said. “The services are beautiful, and they’re wonderful, and I would say a lot of people encounter God in those services. We’re pointing to that tent every single night to just go meet with the Lord, and to go meet with him in prayer is better than any sermon we could ever hear. It’s better than any worship set we could ever listen to.”