The Lazarus Center

We pray for healing in Christ’s name.  We train others to pray for healing, and we encourage people to go deeper in healing through retreats, small groups, and related events.


Founded in 1988 as a faith-based, community service organization.  Incorporated in 1990 as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, interdenominational agency.

Valerie (Cindy) Vitunic is the founder of the Lazarus Center. Through personal experience she realized that complete healing affects the entire person:  body, soul, and spirit.

The Lazarus Center’s name comes from the Bible’s account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11).  This story teaches us many lessons about the pathway to wholeness.  Before Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, he told the crowd to first roll away the stone that was covering

 Lazarus’ tomb.  Many of us also have “stones” that prevent us from receiving the healing Jesus offers.

Jesus also told the crowd to “unbind” Lazarus from his grave clothes when he walked out of the tomb.  Likewise, we need others to help “unbind” us from false beliefs and past wounds that keep us bound so that we can walk freely in the life that Christ offers.




1 Corinthians 12:8-11 (ESV) 


For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing thy the one Spirit, to another working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.  

TESTIMONIALS from Freedom in Christ Retreat

Dave Ogborne

I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for the Freedom in Christ retreat.  Yes, I read the information pamphlet but only through participation can we receive the total experience.  I was going through a touch time in my life which led me to question the found of my faith –Trust in God.  Going somewhere new can be daunting, for a whole weekend let’s say intimidating!  Add to that, do I really want to be with strangers and the possibility of opening up to anyone?  I was turning this around in my mind as I drove to the retreat Friday afternoon.  Soon after my arrival these feelings were quashed.

I was greeted by people that were joyful and happy to meet me!  They demonstrated something that I want to explore.  It was unknown to me at that moment that I was going to identify the source of their joy.  The weekend progress with talks and testimonies of changed lives, discussions led by caring leaders, time of mediation and prayer, opportunity for healing and plenty of time of fellowship. Plenty of laughter, plenty of caring.

Saturday afternoon, even today, holds a special place in my heart.  It was a starting point to my healing and my current Trust in God.  We were led in prayer and meditation during which I had a profound encounter with the love of Christ.

He freed my heart from the grief of losing my Dad when I was still a child, a weight I carried throughout my adulthood, replacing anger with trust.  The details of this experience were dramatic and it has affected my Journey to this very day!  As the retreat closed the person who came Friday with trepidation left with joy!  I left with the true meaning of Freedom in Christ, the weight of my sin is lifted from my shoulders.

I can’t promise you such a life changing experience if you choose the invitation to attend the Freedom in Christ retreat, but I’m sure you will experience something special!

Ethan Magness

Freedom in Christ Retreat

My wife and I have attended about a dozen Freedom in Christ retreats, and the crest of our lives (individually and together) have been deeply affected by the timeless truths that we’ve learned and experienced on the retreat.  As you probably know, the retreat focuses on the spiritual heart (its raw condition, how it malfunctions, and the ways in which God makes it new).

The heart is not just verbally addressed, but tended to during the weekend.  This occurs in multiple ways.  There are several talks which are inter-spliced with Scripture, personal stories, and pastoral theology.  There are rich times of safe, interactive, imaginative prayer.  There are carefully selected leaders who are charitable, pastoral, and prayerful.

These ingredients create a retreat which can bring fresh healing and relief.  Monique (my wife) and I have been permanently changed because of what we discovered on the Freedom in Christ Retreat.



Freedom in Christ retreat


I attended the Freedom in Christ retreat back in 1998 when I was pregnant with our fourth child, Nate, and was just in the beginning stages of the pregnancy at around nine weeks.  I went there having mild nausea and was hoping I could make it through the weekend without getting sick.

I ended up having such a moving, healing time on the retreat that I spent most of the time crying as the Holy Spirit touched me and brought deep healing.  I remember going home in the car afterwards and not feeling any more nausea.  This concerned me because I had had two miscarriages in the past and knew that feeling of not feeling pregnant anymore. 

There were two of us that were pregnant on the retreat and we were told afterwards that people were praying for us to feel well and not have any more nausea.  Thankfully, I didn’t have a miscarriage and went on to have my best pregnancy and I am so thankful and grateful to the prayer team for their prayers for me!

In addition, I had a vision from the Lord during the worship time near the end when I saw Jesus as shepherd with his staff walking through the aisles comforting and lovingly blessing each person.  It was glorious!

Blessings and love,


Kris, 49, Husband and Father

Freedom in Christ Retreat 2013


My wife and I attended the “Freedom in Christ Retreat” in 2013.  I was hesitant and skeptical about going originally but it ended up having a huge positive impact to my life and spiritual journey.

The retreat helped me work through issues from my past and to gain closure and healing. This was freeing and very helpful to free my mind, heart, and soul. 

Secondly, the retreat helped me to be more aware and acknowledge the sin in my life.  Through a very safe environment of confession, repentance, and prayer I was able to ask for God’s forgiveness and move forward feeling freed from guilt.  God has continued to help me to not slide back into these sins by staying close to him in devotions, scripture, small groups and prayer.

I would highly recommend attending the “Freedom in Christ Retreat” as it was a life changing event for me that grew me closer to God, freed me of the guilt of sin and has led me to a closer journey with God.

Slide Show from

Embracing His Design

 Embracing His Design Retreat Highlight video








Director of Women’s Ministries – Sandy Wilson


Sandy Ministers in healing to the whole woman.  Her forever young persona is evident.  She ushers in fresh and new experiences with the Holy Spirit.  With voice and guitar, Sandy has led worship in several states and Canada.  The Lord continues to stretch the territory of her calling.  Sandy was radically saved in the late 1970’s and has witnessed the wonder working power of God.  when she ministers in music, the atmosphere becomes open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Sandy is called to the body of Christ to sing and tell of His love.  Her testimony topics are amazing as she shares about the miracles she has lived through including confused identity issues, a devastating fire, and divorce recovery.  Sandy currently serves on the Leadership Board as Spiritual Advisor of Pittsburgh West Women’s Conferences, as well as director of Women’s Ministries at the Lazarus Center in Imperial, PA.  She has served many years on the worship team at St. Stephen’s Church, Sewickley, PA and is currently attending Northway Community Church Sewickley Campus. 

Contact info:  724-650-2597

237 Main Street, Imperial, PA  15126