The Vineyard movement emerged on the scene in the late 1970s, at what has been called a “crossroads” of American Christianity and culture.
The Jesus People movement of the 1960s was a spiritual awakening within hippie culture in the United States, as thousands of young people found themselves on a desperate search to experience God. Not finding Him through drugs, sex, or rock’n’roll, the hippies were one of the subcultures powerfully impacted by ministries such as Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa, CA) that arose during this move of God across America.
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.”
Today, there are 2400+ Vineyards around the world in 95 countries – and we’re growing. Read below to learn more of the history behind one of today’s most passionate church planting movements.
Click HERE to learn more about the Vineyard Movement.