Our “roots” as the Westside Vineyard are that of a seeking generation being met by a sovereign movement of God. The 1970’s ushered in a generation with an anti-establishment “counter-cultural” perspective through which many saw the radical and revolutionary nature of Jesus afresh… capturing what more conventional religious perspectives had often lost. They sought expressions of this shared “living relationship” with the revolutionary Christ marked by desire for a personal experience of God’s love and presence, vitality of contemporary music, simplicity of structure, and an invitation to make a real difference in a lost world. Out of this movement, in 1974 Kenn and Joannie Gulliksen began a fellowship in West Los Angeles, originally affiliated with the Calvary Chapel movement, which God led to take the name of the "Vineyard." (Isaiah 27:2-3; John 15:5) God worked through many mistakes as well as successes as people were willing to take risks to follow Jesus. Several couples went out and began other affiliated Vineyards in California, with similar priorities and values.
In the early 1980's John Wimber (located in Anaheim) became the spiritual father of this emerging movement of associated churches, and God imparted to John a vision for thousands of new churches as well as serving the renewal of the larger church across various traditions.
As God's Spirit continued to bless and shape this vision, John and the Vineyard's ministry emerged into one of the most influential ministries of renewal to the church worldwide in recent history. The Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC) serves as the support and structure which unites and strengthens the planting of new churches. (There are approximately 620 Vineyard congregations in the US and over 2,400 in 90 countries internationally, with over 300,000 people worldwide who consider a Vineyard their church). As the movement continues to emerge, the conviction remains that God's desire is not primarily for us to build the Vineyard but to seek His Kingdom (His reign), to love the whole church, and to bless what He's blessing.
Here in West Los Angeles, the Westside Vineyard continues to rise to the calling to know God and make Him known by revealing His Kingdom in our own time and place. In 1991, Associate Pastor Brad Bailey, who along with his wife Leah was born and raised on the Westside, accepted the position of senior pastor. The recent years have been marked by both expansion and the emergence of a new generation. After twenty years of ministry without a facility, in 2000 the Westside Vineyard purchased the 17,000 square foot Bruno's restaurant located at the intersection of Centinela Avenue and Venice Boulevard. Increasingly diverse individuals and families began discovering and developing their relationship with God through the Westside Vineyard. In this same season, a new generation of young adult lives and leaders began to emerge. Then in 2006, Comunidad Viña began as a Spanish-speaking congregation connected to the Westside Vineyard.
What has emerged is the reality that our calling is more than just being a “new” type of church… it involves learning how we can truly reflect God’s uniting of generations and ethnicities as we rise to fulfill God’s calling for our unique time and place in His-Story.
As God’s “Vineyard,” we celebrate His ongoing faithfulness and fruitfulness in our midst.