The First Vineyard
Kenn Gulliksen, a soft-spoken, unassuming leader with a passion to know and walk with God, started a church in West LA in 1974, sent out by Calvary Chapel.
This would be known as the first Vineyard church. Average people, as well as actors and musicians whose names would be familiar to us today (Bob Dylan, T-Bone Burnett, Keith Green), were connected with Gulliksen and the Vineyard.
The Birth Of A Movement
From Gulliksen’s church, the first Vineyards 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.
John and Carol Wimber, who had become a part of Calvary Chapel, had a journey with God that was leading them to a convergence orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
John Wimber & The Association Of Vineyard Churches
John and Kenn became friends, and in 1982 it was clear that John was emerging as the leader of the growing network of Vineyard churches. The official recognition of this transition took place in 1982: the emergence of what was to be called the “Association of Vineyard Churches.”
A Network of Churches Worldwide
Over time, the Vineyard movement has grown to be a network of over 2400+ churches worldwide, and has impacted the Church across denominational lines in uncountable ways.
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.