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Vineyard Anaheim renamed the Dwelling Place after split: 'Not a departure from what has gone before'

Vineyard Anaheim,
Alan Scott, pastor of Vineyard Anaheim, speaks on Sunday, March 20, 2022. |

Months after announcing Vineyard Anaheim, the “mother church” of the Vineyard movement, would be disassociating from the charismatic denomination, Pastor Alan Scott revealed the church will now be called the Dwelling Place Anaheim. 

“I love that it's not just ‘Dwelling Place,’ but it's ‘Dwelling Place Anaheim,'” Scott told his congregation in an April 24 message.

“We want to see our city become a dwelling place of God; we want people in this city to know that He is their God and that they are His people. And so, as we step into this new part of our story together as a house, as a community together, it's not a departure from what has gone before. In fact, we're just continuing the story that we've been engaged in together, and the bookends of the story of God is that God's dwelling place is with His people, and that's who we are we are, a dwelling for and by His spirit.”

In March, Scott, who, with his wife, Kathryn, led the former Vineyard Anaheim for four years, announced the church would be officially disassociating from Vineyard USA without giving a specific reason for the decision.

Vineyard Anaheim was planted in 1977 by John Wimber and is widely considered to be “the mother church” of the Vineyard movement, which today is a network of over 1,500 churches worldwide. Wimber died in 1997.

The church, located in Orange County, California, owns multiple buildings on a 5.7-acre property estimated to be worth tens of millions, according to The Roys Report.

The move to disassociate from the Vineyard movement was widely criticized by Vinyard Church leaders and members of the Wimber family. Carol Wimber-Wong, Wimber’s widow, accused the Scotts of stealing their “brother’s house” and of “actions that are screaming dishonor.”

Rich Nathan, pastor of Vineyard Columbus in Ohio, the nation’s largest Vineyard church, said the split was due to “selfish ambition and not the Spirit’s leading!”

David and Robin Denunzio, former Vineyard Anaheim board members, said they were “deeply saddened” and “completely blindsided” by the move.

Details of the Dwelling Place Anaheim remain unclear. But the church’s “Our Story” page says church leaders believe they are “stepping into the story of God… not just for the sake of the Church but for the sake of the world."

“Our dream is bigger than building a large church or bringing life to the Church,” reads the church’s “Our Story” page. “Today we dream of partnering with God to build a better city.”

“In the future, we are going to plant churches and we are going to plant businesses. We are going to ordain ministers and we are going to ordain filmmakers. We are going to have schools of ministry and schools of industry. We are going to go where those before us didn’t have time to go or permission to go … because the story of the kingdom continues. It’s the story that brings life to everything everywhere.”

The Dwelling Place Anaheim website also said the Scotts “seek to bring together biblical principles and supernatural power in a way that supplies the destiny of ordinary people, raising up kingdom carriers that change culture.”

In his April 24 message, Alan Scott reflected on how church leaders settled on the new name.

“I wish I could say to that, on, whatever day it is, April the 8th or something like this, the angel of the Lord appeared to me and said, ‘Behold, this is your new name,’” he said. 

“But that didn’t happen.”

Scott cited several Bible verses about God dwelling among His people, adding: “I love that idea that every time we speak the name, we're telling a story or we're declaring meaning, and so when we look at the name ‘Dwelling Place Anaheim,’ we are stepping into the story of God from the beginning.”

“It reminds us that God is making everything new,” he said, “that one day all of humanity and all of history ends up at the feet of Jesus and God’s dwelling place is with us.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: leah.klett@christianpost.com

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