Pastor of the Week: Garrett Howell at Awaken Ministries

By: Dezaray Barr

Garrett Howell
Garrett Howell

Garrett Howell is the Founder of Awaken Ministries. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries and in 2016 with a graduate degree in Practical Theology.

“Being an IWU student taught me the importance of seeking God’s presence in my everyday life,” Howell said. “I vividly remember spending hours in my hall chapel as a freshman, praying and seeking God for a fresh movement of His Spirit in my life.  I was surrounded by students and professors who encouraged this pursuit of the Lord, and they added wisdom and insight into my walk with the Lord.”

One of Howell’s favorite professors was Dr. Chris Bounds. “He taught our Theology 1 course and our Theology 2 courses. These classes were powerful and pushed us as students to seek the work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives,” Howell shared. “I remember having tears in my eyes during many class periods as we studied about the work of God in our lives, because I was so needy and hungry for the reality of God’s transforming work in my own life. These courses taught us the reality of God’s work in our lives and that we can and should expect and seek that work today.  Bounds was a pastor to us all, and still is a pastor to me.” Bounds also currently serves on the board of directors for Awaken.

Awaken Interns

When Awaken began at Indiana Wesleyan, 10 students were selected to be part of the first discipleship group on campus. “These 10 became a close-knit, deeply passionate team that often resembled a spiritual family: they cared for one another and urged one another on toward Christ,” Howell said. “I will never forget a retreat we took as a team one Spring semester. We went to one of the student’s homes for a weekend of fun. We played Frisbee and soccer, ate great food and laughed a lot.  But most of all, we spent time praying over one another and speaking into each other’s lives.  The authenticity and vulnerability of that community was the most powerful thing I had ever felt in my life.  I knew, at that moment, that this was the right thing for me to be focusing on in life.  It was an undeniable reminder that my life should be spent seeing young believers wake up in their faith and become fully sold out to the Gospel.”

Awaken_shot 3[5657]Howell has seen many incredible moments at the hands of God through Awaken. “I remember a night when our weekly Awaken service was about to begin at Indiana Wesleyan University. Just before the service, our student interns walked through the student center to invite additional students to join the event.  During this walk, one of our interns encountered an IWU student who was less than enthusiastic about joining the service; in fact, this student was very much opposed to joining our worship event.  For reasons we still don’t know, this student decided to take the interns’ advice and attend Awaken anyway.  As the service began, the presence of God was overwhelmingly present in an undeniable way.  People began to come forward to the altar and receive prayer, in spite of the fact that no altar call had been made.  The student who didn’t want to come was watching this, clearly surprised at what was going on.  As the service continued, this student began to feel a sense of conviction, and the Spirit moving in his own life. Crying hard, he walked forward and knelt down to the ground, where one of his friends came and prayed with him. Needless to say, God was moving powerfully that evening!” Howell explained.

Howell encourages IWU students to be strong in their faith now, “Don’t wait,” he said. “The way you live life now is creating your lifestyle for the future. You are becoming the husband, wife, father, mother, businessman, pastor, coworker and Christ-follower that you’ll be the rest of your life by how you’re living today.”

Indiana Wesleyan University’s Homecoming schedule this year includes the Awaken Night of Worship on Thursday, October 5th.  This event will be a worship service that gathers alumni and current students together to seek a fresh movement of God’s Spirit in our lives and in our community. Worship band Alanna Story will be leading worship. and Garrett Howell will be preaching.  Doors open at 9 pm, and the service begins at 9:30 pm.  We would love to see you there!


Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at


The Next Step: From Revival to Awakening

By: Katherine Arch


On the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University, “revival” is a buzzword. Throughout Summit (the spiritual emphasis week which our campus held the second week of school) the speaker, Dr. Kevin Queen spoke on this subject. In all of his talks throughout the week, he discussed the need for personal revival as crucial for spiritual focus throughout the community as a whole. At the end of Dr. Queen’s last talk, students were offered chips with the slogan “All In” to remind them of the dedication required to commit to a lifestyle of revival.

Summit is now several weeks passed, and although there is a sensitivity to the topic of spiritual renewal, many
Garrett Howellpeople do not know what to do with the stirring they felt during the time of spiritual emphasis.

“Moments of revival, like what happened on IWU’s campus during Summit are the beginning of awakening,” commented Garrett Howell, former student body chaplain and IWU alum (’13, Christian Ministries). Howell has recently started a ministry called Awaken Ministry, with the expressed purpose of helping students and young adults find applications for their desire to follow the Lord with deeper spiritual fervor.

“During my time at IWU I sensed a need to pray for revival,” Howell mentioned. “I was a student body chaplain and I knew this was a need on campus, and something for which I needed to pray.” During his final year at IWU, Howell was deeply involved in the spiritual formation of students as he worked as student body chaplain. Within this position, Howell was able to understand the spiritual climate of the school more fully. During his time at IWU, Howell sensed that the Lord was calling him to start a ministry to help equip and disciple students to exhibit spiritual passion.

“I talked with my mentors my senior year of college,” recalls Howell, “I sensed that the Lord was calling me to full-time service.” As a ministry student, such a vision was not unexpected. Howell talked with several trusted friends and explained his vision to them; much to his pleasure, they were as excited about his idea as he was.

“The idea of waking up from Spiritual complacency was what first inspired me to start Awaken Ministries,” Howell explained. With the help of his mentors, Howell began mobilizing support to start this outreach program. “We had a vision of equipping spiritually-sensitive students so that they could, in turn, initiate awakening in the church.”Awaken Logo

Awakening launched as a student event at IWU in the fall of 2012. Howell helped initiate several worship experiences, similar to the Summit weeks. The goal of these Awakening events was to ignite a desire to draw closer to the Lord and pursue Spiritual revival. Since the first meeting in 2012, the ministry has grown exponentially.

“The focus of our ministry is to work to equip students through a two-semester leadership and discipleship program,” Howell explained. This ministry is currently working closely with IWU with monthly meetings and follow-up opportunities for fellowship, discipleship, and service.

“People can choose to engage at whatever level they feel called. For some, they might only choose to attend the monthly meeting. Others opt to join a discipleship group for personal mentoring and growth. Some become part of our outreach program and travel to churches where they are thrown into ministry,” Howell explained. The goal of the ministry is to equip students to be able to minister as well, so Awaken attempts to provide interested students with opportunities to serve.

In addition to the discipleship and ministry opportunities, Howell and the Awaken team travel to churches for seminars and revival meetings. It is Garrett’s vision that these discipleship opportunities will grow and become an important component of the ministry.

In the IWU community, Awaken Ministries offers the opportunity to take the next step toward personal revival. “For students who are seeking to go deeper with the Lord, this is a good place to start,” encouraged Howell. “We encourage everyone to attend a monthly meeting and see what God has for them after that.”

To find out more information about Garrett Howell and the ministry of Awaken, please visit their website at


Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.