[06.10.08] Steve Lapp said he had never heard about supernatural healing before he fell from the second story of his barn in 1999, crushing his pelvis in nine places. He said doctors weren’t sure if he would ever walk again.
“Then I heard about having hands laid on and getting prayed for healing as well as nutritional supplements to help build your body up,” Lapp said. “That was my first experience with knowing about what the Bible talks about healing and it being real and especially it being for today.”
Lapp received prayer and experienced an immediate healing. He went from a wheelchair to crutches to being completely restored physically. Word spread quickly throughout the Amish community, and people began coming to Lapp’s home day and night asking for prayer. Soon, the 29-year-old started praying for Amish and non-Amish and saw people healed from maladies ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to broken bones.
When the leadership of his local Amish church caught wind of Lapp’s burgeoning healing ministry, they censured him. “It came to the point where it became a threat to the leaders in the Amish community, and they asked us to stop praying for people, “ he said.
Being raised to respect authority, Lapp stopped praying for people for several months. But people from the local community continued to seek him out for prayer. Eventually, Lapp told Amish leadership that he and his family could no longer stop the healing ministry. “We ended up getting ex-communicated from the Amish church and moved to Pennsylvania [from Ohio],” Lapp said.
Now based in Ephrata, Pa., located in the Lancaster County area, Lapp and five of his siblings and their families formed Light of Hope Ministries. For the last three years the ministry has hosted a 52-day Glory Barn revival that featured 24/7 prayer and personal ministry. Although the Glory Barn meetings ended in May, Lapp continues to lead revival services at Breakout Ministries in nearby Leola, Pa.
Despite being excommunicated from their Amish community, Lapp and his family continue to embrace many aspects of the Amish lifestyle, such as wearing traditional Amish attire, because they believe God has called them to be a bridge to reach the Amish. They no longer use a horse and buggy, however, due to their need to drive cars for everyday travel and the family’s full-time healing ministry.
“We are not necessarily wanting to see everybody leave the Amish,” Lapp said. “We just want to see the Amish be set free from some of these misuses [excommunication and shunning] and still be able to keep the culture. Our passion is to see the truth become real in the Amish community, not just in the Amish, but in the whole community.”
John Paul Peters, pastor of Eagle Focus International Ministries in Ephrata, said he believes God wants to bring an explosive revival to the Lancaster area and that He is using the Lapp family to bring it about. “Steve Lapp is an apostle,” Peters said. “I believe this is one of the fire starter movements of revival in this area.” –Paula Hornberger