My longtime friend Stephen Strader says 99% of the people who need spinal alignment get healed in his ministry meetings. But what could possibly be the reason for the incredible healings he is seeing? He says it has everything to do with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I recently invited Strader—pastor of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida—onto my “Strang Report” podcast. Click here or click on the podcast icon to listen to that episode. We reminisced about the past (since we’ve known each other for more than 50 years) and discussed how God empowered him at a young age. Strader was born again at 8 years old and baptized in the Holy Spirit at 12, and he still walks in that power today.
“To this day, 99% of anybody I pray for who needs their body aligned, they’re instantly healed in my meetings because of that transfer of anointing,” he says.
Strader is referring to the late Richard Vineyard’s anointing to pray for healing over those whose spines were out of alignment. Strader’s father, Pastor Karl D. Strader, invited Vineyard to minister at his church. Although Vineyard never became widely known, he would conduct revival meetings for two to six weeks at a time, something few other ministries were doing at the time.
“I got the baptism of the Holy Spirit when I was 12 years old in [Vineyard’s] meetings,” Strader says. “I spoke in tongues for 45 minutes. And he was really famous for the leg thing, where they would grow out a leg, which we know now was just adjusting the spine. But back then we didn’t know that—we just thought he was growing legs out! And he would invite all the boys and girls to come up around and watch.”
Those experiences prompted Strader to launch into ministry at a mere 12 years old.
“And I would follow Dad up to the hospital … at about 15 years old,” Strader says. “I started helping him with that radio show on WLKF. I literally was his engineer for that program, and then he turned the whole program over to me. So for years I did it myself, live, Sunday mornings before church when I was 15 or 16 years old.”
In 1978, he started working as associate pastor for Karl Strader’s church, then called Carpenter’s Home Church. Strader remembers how revival marked his early years of ministry. God was certainly on the move.
“Central Florida was a hotbed of revival and moves of God and the very first worship movement, worship symposiums,” Strader says. “It was before Hillsong, before Maranatha. It was Integrity Music—all of that happened, and Carpenter’s Home was in the middle of it.”
In 2005, Strader went from associate pastor to senior pastor and renamed the congregation Ignited Church. Just three years after becoming senior pastor, Strader helped steward a new revival that began springing up in Lakeland. What started as a five-day conference turned into 188 consecutive days of revival meetings.
What happened during that revival is another story—one I hope to share with you soon on my next podcast with Strader. So keep your eye out for my next Strang Report!
Click here to listen to my first interview with Strader, and if you enjoy what you hear, share this article with a friend!