Traveling preacher takes message on road
Along with the cars, trucks and recreational vehicles passing through Rugby on U.S. Highway 2 last week came a different sort of traveler.
Steve Epp of The Well Ministries in Tulsa, Okla. visited town along with his wife, Sandra, to send a message to Pierce County residents in a way that caught the eye of more than a few motorists.
Dressed in shorts, a t-shirt that read “Stand Strong” and bright blue sneakers, Epp shouldered a large wooden cross with a wheel attached to its base and walked along the side of the highway, waving occasionally as semi drivers honked their horns.
“This is one of the prettiest states I’ve visited,” Epp said as he stopped to talk near a farm driveway west of town.
“And the people are really friendly,” he added.
Epp said he and Sandra have visited 26 states in the U.S. so far. Epp said their goal is to see all of them, and bring their message of God’s love to the people they meet.
“I’ve walked 30 miles so far today,” Epp noted. “By the end of August, we should be in Eastern Montana.”
Epp said he and Sandra carry their supplies and sleep in an RV, which last week was parked in Rugby’s Oakwood Campground.
But no matter where they stop, he makes sure to take up the cross and bring his message to whoever listens.
“Lots of people know about Jesus,” Epp said, “but they don’t know He loves them.”
Epp said he and Sandra have spent nine months of every year bringing his ministry to people since he retired four years ago.
The Epps visit churches in the towns where they stop.
“We visited the Assembly of God church in this town,” Epp said. “We would like to visit and pray in a church with the Chippewa Nation, too.”
Epp said by the end of this year, they would travel through Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and part of Montana.
The idea to take the messages of Christ on the road came from prayer, Epp said.
“I had a paying business, I was ready to retire, and God said, ‘Go.'” Epp noted.
“Eighty-five percent of our young people are not going to church,” Epp said.
“We have to bring church to these kids to get the gospel out to them.”
“I read a study that said every 24 hours or so, a suicide occurs in our military. We’re going to lose 60 to 90 thousand people overall to suicide this year. Then, we’ve got the coronavirus, and all the hate. We need to address all the hate in this country.”
“It’s not about politics, either,” he added. “It’s not a left thing or a right thing. It’s a God thing.”
Epp said during his travels, “I have prayed for thousands of people. I have offered to pray for people. No one’s ever turned me down.”
Waving at another passing motorist, Epp continued on his way west. He said he and his wife were headed to Minot next.
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