Vineyard Church of Guilford is part of the Association of Vineyard Churches, a growing denomination that now includes nearly 850 churches in 47 countries ( from Katmandu, Nepal to Berne, Switzerland ) including over 500 churches in the U.S. ( from Cambridge, Mass. to Palo Alto, California ). The Vineyard story is about ordinary people ( i.e., those who still mess up quite a bit ) who serve an extraordinary God. And we are simply one thread in the rich tapestry of the historic and global Christian faith. More simply put, from Catholics to Baptists, we are all part of God's very big, very diverse Church. The first Vineyard began inauspiciously in 1974 as a young man named Kenn Gulliksen led a small group of discouraged Christians in the Los Angeles area. Those first meetings included a lot of singing and praying to God in an attempt to experience Him as a living, life-changing friend and not just as a theory - which had been the experience of all too many in the group. Their little fellowship, many of whom were artists, musicians and actors, grew quickly as people got wind of the fresh things God seemed to be doing in their meetings. When praying about what name to call themselves, they felt drawn to a passage in the Bible - Isaiah chapter 27, verse 3, in which Isaiah quotes God as saying "Sing about a fruitful vineyard ; I, the Lord, watch over it ; I water in continually..." and the name Vineyard Christian Fellowship was born.