A Brief History of the Vineyard Community Church of Evansville
The Vineyard Community Church of Evansville began with a small group of believers that believed that God had more to offer and that God was wanting to do more than they had been experiencing in their various churches. Many were leaders and teachers who were grounded in the word but had little experience with the person of the Holy Spirit. We were about to embark on an adventure that would both challenge us and change our lives in very positive ways.
There was a united hunger for the word of God and for a greater knowledge of the person of God. There was also a belief and an anticipation that God wanted to be intimately involved in our daily lives and that we could experience His presence and experience Him as we gathered together in our worship services and as we lived out our daily lives. After our group began meeting and praying together we began to experience “worship” in ways that were new to us and that were truly anointed by God’s presence. This search for God through worship led a couple of the members of our group to attend a Vineyard Worship conference in Columbus Ohio, in the fall of 1998. After arriving at the conference and experiencing their style of worship, their hunger for God, the move of the Spirit, and the Kleenex boxes on the stage, they felt right at home. After they returned we began to further investigate the Vineyard movement. We joined them as a church plant in December of 1999 and became an official member of the Association of Vineyard Churches in the USA.
Early in 1999, God graciously provided property for us to build a ministry center on and over the next eighteen months He remained faithful in providing the materials, the volunteers, the skilled laborers, the financial resources, and the weather to complete the project. Each day was a new opportunity to experience God’s amazing provision. While we were building we met on Sunday evenings at a neighboring church, and we moved into our new home in November of 2000.
The Holy Spirit had also placed a desire for foreign missions in our hearts and, in July of 2002, our pastor went to Costa Rica with four other Vineyard pastors from Indiana. These five pastors met with the Vineyard pastors in Costa Rica for three days to discuss the possibility of putting together a partnership between our churches and theirs that would allow us to come along side of them and help them train leaders, plant new churches, and expand the work of God’s Kingdom in Costa Rica. At that time there were three established Vineyard churches there. At the end of the three day retreat the partnership had been established with the stated goals being to develop relationships that would encourage the pastors and their churches, to help them put on annual training conferences for leaders and lay people alike, and to help promote and develop new church plants. Two years later our pastor would become the US coordinator for the Association of Vineyards Churches, USA’s, work in Costa Rica. In the first three years of the partnership nearly 50% of our people had been to Costa Rica participating in one or more mission trips. We developed a deep love for the people of Costa Rica.