The Vineyard finds its roots in the unique period of the 1970's when a lost generation met a sovereign move of God. This generation that included a counterculture and anti-establishment dynamic sought a living faith, marked by simplicity of structure, vitality of contemporary music, personal experience of God's love, and an invitation to make a real difference in a lost world.
As the calling and cause of Christ fell afresh, hundreds of thousands of lives captured what traditions had often lost. Building on the foundations of this fresh movement of God, now called the Jesus Movement by Church historians.
In 1974, after working as an assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California and planting a church called Jesus Chapel in El Paso, Texas, Kenn and Joanne Gulliksen moved to Los Angeles to begin a new ministry. Starting it as a bible study in the home of Chuck and Karen Girard (from the music group Lovesong) the fellowship grew very quickly, necessitating the beginning of a Sunday morning worship service in Beverly Hills. God prophetically gave the name Vineyard (Isaiah 27:2-3; John 15:5.) to these newly gathered people. Musicians, actors, business people, students and those simply hungry to know, experience and share God, came together in small groups and large meetings, as literally thousands received Jesus.
In time, several couples went out and began other Vineyards in California, quickly growing churches with priorities of worship, relationships, healing, training, and giving. In May 1977, after pastoring an Evangelical Friends (Quaker) church and working as a church growth consultant for the Fuller Evangelistic Association, John Wimber began pastoring a small home fellowship that his wife Carol had been attending since its start several months earlier. The group involved Christians who were exhausted from trying to "do church" and they gathered to simply worship God and grow in intimacy with Him. As they cried out with desperation for more of God's Spirit, they experienced God in their midst, including His love and mercy, His power, and experiences with the supernatural. This group eventually became a church, Calvary Chapel of Yorba Linda. In the early days of the church, God led John to teach on and pray for healing.
After ten months of obedience, preaching, and praying, but without seeing anyone get healed, the team was feeling frustrated. Then they saw their first healing and from there God built His ministry, eventually sending a message around the world that all Christians could be used by God to pray for the sick and experience healing, doing the things that Jesus did. In the spring of 1982, John and several other pastors led their churches into relationship/identification with the Vineyard, as their vision coincided with and completed that of the original Vineyards. It became obvious that God had called John to pastor pastors.
As a result, the people called the Vineyard came together as an association of independent churches for mutual support, edification and encouragement under the headship of Jesus Christ while acknowledging the leadership of John Wimber. The movement is currently focused on evangelization, missions, and church planting and also desires to be of general encouragement and an agent of renewal to the whole body of Christ. In 1985 the various Vineyard churches formed a formal church association called THE Association of Vineyard Churces (AVC) but has recently changed the name to VINEYARD, A COMMUNITY OF CHURCHES. The churches are self-governing, but are overseen and encouraged on a voluntary basis by Pastoral Overseers. As of February 2007, there are 613 Vineyard churches in the United States. There are usually about 50 actively planting church plants each year. We also have Associations of Vineyard Churches established in 9 “arenas” representing 800-900 churches around the world. God however, has shown us not to seek to build the Vineyard, but instead to seek His kingdom and to build His Church, to bless what He’s blessing, to love what He loves, and to give ourselves away freely.
Tempe Vineyard Church (TVC) began as a church in September of 1993. A group of 17 adults and 8 children were sent out as the first church plant of Vineyard Church of North Phoenix. John Hernandez, the current TVC pastor, was on staff at VCNP and the group was sent out with the full blessing of Brian Anderson, the senior pastor of VCNP. The first six months were a time of acclimation for the group, to a new pastor, and also a time of training for the group. Mostly, it was a time of just getting to know each other and to pray for the church.
In 1994, on the first Sunday of February, the church plant went “public”. The fellowship met in a Jazzercise just east of the Price and Guadalupe intersection. The first meetings were on Sunday night. Those early days were a time of learning how to do “church”. Even though there was not a great deal of numerical growth, the individuals on the church planting team were growing spiritually as the Lord challenged their priorities with the cost of the kingdom. One person at a time, the church began to grow. As the growth came slowly, the Lord cultivated a love for the lost and taught the church to value each individual that walked through the doors of the Jazzercise.
In the fall of 1996, the church was forced to go outdoors and spend 6 weeks in Kiwanis Park because of the Jazzercise moving its location. During that time, the current location was found and negotiations began for the suites. The Lord worked out a great situation and TVC had a new home. In April of 1997, we moved to our current location.