Late Twentieth Century 1979
May 13—Anaheim, California – John Wimber
In 1977 John Wimber began leading the fellowship of approximately 40 people, which had been started by his wife, Carol. It later became the headquarters of the Vineyard Christian Fellowships. John preached from Luke’s Gospel and began to pray for healings with no visible results for nine months, although the worship and evangelism attracted many people. Then healings began to happen and became a regular part of Vineyard ministry.
John Wimber summarized their story:
Beginning some time in September of 1976, Bob Fulton, Carol Wimber, Carl Turtle, along with others, began assembling at the home of Carl Turtle’s sister. The agenda was simple: praying, worshipping and seeking the Lord. By the time I came several months later, the Spirit of God was already moving powerfully. There was a great brokenness and responsiveness in the hearts of many. This evolved into what became our church on Mother’s Day in 1977.
Soon God began dealing with me about the work of the Spirit related to healing. I began teaching in this area. Over the next year and a half God began visiting in various and sundry ways. There were words of knowledge, healing, casting out of demons, and conversions. Later we saw an intensification of this when Lonnie Frisbee came and ministered. Lonnie had been a Calvary Chapel pastor and evangelist, being used mightily in the Jesus People Movement. After our Sunday morning service on Mother’s Day 1979, I was walking out the door behind Lonnie, and the Lord told me, “Ask that young man to give his testimony tonight.” I hadn’t even met him, though I knew who he was and how the Lord had used him in the past. That night, after he gave his testimony, Lonnie asked the Holy Spirit to come and the repercussions were incredible. The Spirit of God literally knocked people to the floor and shook them silly. Many people spoke in tongues, prophesied or had visions.
Then over the next few months, hundreds and hundreds of people came to Christ as the result of the witness of the individuals who were touched that night, and in the aftermath. The church saw approximately 1,700 converted to Christ in a period of about three months.
This evolved into a series of opportunities, beginning in 1980, to minister around the world. Thus the Vineyard renewal ministry and the Vineyard movement were birthed (Wimber 1994, 1–3).
© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.