Richmond Vineyard Church

The Vineyard Church grew out of the Calvary Movement, which resisted traditional denominational structure and ministered to young adult “hippies” in the mid-1960s. The movement was Pentecostal and emphasized a strong relationship with Jesus. In 1982, Kenn Gulliksen, and some other Calvary Chapel pastors changed their congregation names to the Vineyard in order to reflect their strong emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit through tongues, prophecy, and healing. Kenn Gulliksen and John Wimber, a pastor in the Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda, decided to merge their churches because of the similarities in the worship services. Wimber subsequently emerged as the spokesman for the Vineyard Movement until his death in 1977 and established the Anaheim Vineyard, which serves as the Vineyard’s headquarters. There are over 1,500 Vineyard churches, with 600 of those churches located in the United States.

Richmond Vineyard Church originated in October, 1995 and began meeting in the basement of the Tikvat Israel under the leadership of Ken and Becky Peters. The Peters saw that many churches were leaving the city for the suburbs and that the churches that remained were did not seem to be relevant to the new generation of church goers. The Richmond Vineyard states that its mission is “serving our way into the heart of the city” and emphasizes worship, word, ministry, community, justice and simplicity. The church’s vision statement describes its mission as healing hearts and minds through Jesus and serving people with simple acts of kindness. The church regards practicality as a key component in its success. Members state that they want to transform lives by forming a relationship with Jesus. While currently renting space from Temple Beth-El, the congregation meets every Sunday morning over fair-trade coffee and bagels to create a more comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. The church believes that a friendly environment is necessary to help the church’s growth. Childcare is also provided as a complimentary service. The congregation numbers 50-60 and is composed of a number of college students and a few older adults. The age group is made up of mostly 20-30 year olds. The congregation supports a missionary to Ouanaminthe, Haiti to help feed the poor and is working closely with a church and school in the Northeast corner of the country. Through the project the community has been able to dig a well, build a kitchen, cafeteria and receive food shipments from the United Nations on a regular basis so that children get fed each day at school.

Richmond Vineyard
213 Roseneath Road
Richmond, VA 23221

Richmond Vineyard pastor
Richmond Vineyard website

Profile prepared by Ellen Bucher
November, 2009