“Welcome to the Vineyard!”
is a phrase you’ll hear when visiting Vineyard churches across the country. The Iron Range Vineyard church is a part of a family of churches across the country – and across the world! The video below is a welcome to you from Phil Strout, our Vineyard USA National Director.
The Vineyard Movement
Kenn Gulliksen, an unassuming and soft-spoken leader with a passion to know and walk with God, was sent out by Calvary Chapel to start a church in West LA in 1974. This would be known as the first Vineyard church. Average people, as well as musicians and actors whose names are familiar (Bob Dylan, T-Bone Burnett, Keith Green), were connected with Gulliksen and the Vineyard.
The Birth Of A Movement
From this first Vineyard church planted by Gulliksen, other Vineyard churches were planted in 1975. Believing that God had instructed him to do so, Kenn officially gave the name “Vineyard” (from Isaiah 27:2-3; John 15:5) to this association of churches, and led them for about five years. By 1982, there were at least seven “Vineyards” in a loose-knit fellowship of churches.
In 1982, John Wimber, who had been a pastor and church consultant, was asked to serve as the leader of this newly formed association of churches (all in Southern California) that called themselves Vineyard. As the leader of this new movement, known as The Vineyard: A Community of Churches, John pastored the pastors and trained and encouraged the planting of churches internationally.
One of John Wimber’s most famous sayings was “everyone gets to play.” He was strongly suspicious of the professionalization of ministry, and wanted ordinary people to feel equipped to participate in God’s kingdom. See Distinctives of the Vineyard Movement
Today there are about 300,000+ people world-wide who consider a Vineyard their church. In the United States there are approximately 600 Vineyard congregations and internationally, 2,400+ Vineyard churches in 95 countries including, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Russia, Turkey, throughout the European continent, Africa, Southeast Asia, and in Australia.
Personality of the Vineyard
Calling ourselves “empowered evangelicals,” the Vineyard seeks to blend the best of the Evangelical traditions with their focus on Christ-like character and regard for the Scriptures, with the best of the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions of welcoming the empowering of the Holy Spirit for life, ministry, and acts of service.
The Vineyard sees themselves as just one part of the Body of the Christ in our generation and across history, with a unique part to play in what God is doing now. The Vineyard movement has many distinctives that shape our “personality” in the wider Church.