Who Founded the Vineyard?
The Vineyard church was founded by Kenn Gulliksen, a pastor who was sent out by Calvary Chapel in 1974 to start a church in West LA, California. This church became the first Vineyard church and soon planted other churches in the area. Gulliksen gave the name "Vineyard" to this network of churches, based on Isaiah 27:2-3 and John 15:5.
In 1982, Gulliksen handed over the leadership of the Vineyard to John Wimber, a former musician and church growth expert who had started a Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda, California in 1977. Wimber's church had experienced a renewal of the Holy Spirit's power and gifts, which led to conflict with Calvary Chapel. Wimber's church joined the Vineyard movement and became known as the Anaheim Vineyard.
Wimber became the main leader and visionary of the Vineyard movement until his death in 1997. He taught and demonstrated the theology of the kingdom of God, which emphasizes God's present and future reign over all creation. He also promoted power evangelism, which involves sharing the gospel with signs and wonders, such as healing, prophecy, and deliverance.
Under Wimber's leadership, the Vineyard movement grew rapidly and spread globally. In 1982, there were eight Vineyard churches in the USA. Today, there are over 2,500 Vineyard churches in 95 countries around the world. The Vineyard movement has also influenced many other churches and denominations with its worship music, ministry style, and kingdom values.
Curious to learn more about the Vineyard? Come visit us this Sunday and experience it for yourself. We would love to share our story with you.