What is the Vineyard?
The Vineyard is a growing movement of churches worldwide which began back in the 1980s through the leadership of John Wimber. There are now over 2400 churches all over the world, with over 120 in the UK and Ireland. The Vineyard exists to be a part of seeing the Kingdom of God extended through the work of local churches in their towns and cities, sharing the story and good news of Jesus Christ in all they say and do.
The Vineyard is a movement of ordinary people, led by ordinary people, who worship and serve an extraordinary God. The Vineyard is simply one thread in a rich tapestry of the historic and global Church of Jesus; a thread God is weaving. We seek to blend the best of the evangelical traditions with their focus on Christ-like character and regard for the Bible as the Word of God, with the best of the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions of welcoming the empowering of the Holy Spirit for life, ministry, and acts of service.
John Wimber was the founding leader of the Vineyard movement of churches. His influence profoundly shaped the theology and practice of Vineyard churches, from their earliest days until his death in November 1997. When John was conscripted by God, he was, in the words of Christianity Today Magazine, a “beer-guzzling, drug-abusing pop musician who was converted at the age of 29 while chain-smoking his way through a Quaker-led Bible study.” (Christianity Today, editorial, Feb. 09 1998)
In John’s first decade as a Christian, he led hundreds of people to Christ. By 1970 he was leading 11 Bible studies that included more than 500 people. John was asked to lead the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. He also later became an adjunct instructor at Fuller Theological Seminary, where his classes set attendance records. In 1977, John re-entered pastoral ministry to plant Calvary Chapel Church of Yorba Linda.
As John and his congregation, mostly made up of former Quakers, sought God in intimate worship, they experienced empowerment by the Holy Spirit, significant renewal in the gifts of the Spirit and church growth through people coming to faith. It soon became clear that the church’s emphasis on the experience of the Holy Spirit was not shared by some leaders in the Calvary Chapel movement and in 1982, John’s church left Calvary Chapel and joined the Association of Vineyard Churches. The name ‘Vineyard’ was chosen by Kenn Gulliksen, a church planter affiliated with Calvary Chapel, for a church he planted in Los Angeles in 1974. Pastors and leaders from the handful of Vineyard churches Kenn planted, began looking to John for direction. And so the Vineyard movement was born.
John and Eleanor Mumford had worked for nearly two years with Wimber on the staff of Anaheim Vineyard, and later on they were joined by John and Debby Wright. Following this, John and Eleanor planted the SW London Vineyard in 1987, which was the first Vineyard church in Europe. In 2015, John and Eleanor handed over the leadership of Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland to John and Debby Wright, who now lead the movement whilst continuing to lead Trent Vineyard church in Nottingham.
You can find out more information about the Vineyard at the Vineyard Churches UK site – http://www.vineyardchurches.org.uk
What do we believe?
The Vineyard Churches ‘Statement of Faith’ outlines what we believe together with supporting Bible verses. It can be read in full on the Vineyard Churches UK site here – http://www.vineyardchurches.org.uk/resources/tools/statement-of-faith/