"On a Steed of Iron" is a story of struggle and revival during one of American history's most divisive and violent eras, the late 1960s. Melanie McKnight is a young woman longing for her father's attention in the aftermath of her mother's death.
Early in 1968, shortly after the death of Melanie's cousin in the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, Cliff, Melanie's father, a television reporter, begins covering the presidential primaries. She goes to stay with her glacial grandmother in Princeton where there's little compassion. Without comfort, Melanie develops a strong emotional attachment to Senator Robert Kennedy, a man of sorrows himself, and she vows to meet him. The only person who seems to understand is Jack Clyde, a friend from school, and together they begin writing articles for the Princeton newspaper about the candidates.
When Martin Luther King, Jr. dies, Melanie is upset, but when Senator Kennedy is assassinated two months later, she's tempted to despair. At a memorial service at Jack's church, the pastor cautions against putting one's hopes in people, assuring them that the only one who never leaves or forsake us is Jesus Christ. Melanie's heart begins opening to the Lord.
Her faith comes under fire, however, during her freshman year at Princeton University, and she leaves after the fall semester to sort things out. It's a convulsive time in America as campus riots escalate over the widening war. One Tuesday in early February at the small college Jack attends in Kentucky, a chapel service goes past the appointed hour, then another, and another, until a full-blown revival has broken out on campus. Jack calls Melanie to tell her the Lord has impressed on his heart that Melanie needs to be there. While God is pouring out His spirit at Asbury College, Melanie experiences Him in new and startling ways, even finding the grace to forgive her father.
The Asbury revival lasted well into that spring semester; wherever students traveled around the nation to talk about it, God poured out His spirit there as well.