A California pastor announced that his church's name would be changed from Vineyard Anaheim to Dwelling Place Anaheim after the congregation dissociated from the Vineyard USA denomination.
"I love that it's not just 'Dwelling Place,' but it's 'Dwelling Place Anaheim,'" Pastor Alan Scott told his congregation during a message on April 24.
"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," he continued. "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, a dwelling for and by His spirit."
As Christian Headlines previously reported, in March, Alan and his wife, Kathryn, announced that they would be dissociating from Vineyard USA after four years of leading their church. At the time of the announcement, the Scotts did not provide a specific reason for their departure.
Vineyard Anaheim, widely considered "the mother church" of the Vineyard movement, was planted by John Wimber in 1977. The Vineyard Movement is a charismatic denomination with over 1,500 churches worldwide.
According to The Christian Post, the decision to dissociate sparked backlash from Vineyard Church leaders and Wimber family members. Wimber's widow, Carol Wimber-Wong, accused the Scotts of stealing their "brother's house" and of "actions that are screaming dishonor."
Meanwhile, David and Robin Denunzio, former Vineyard Anaheim board members, said they were "deeply saddened" and "completely blindsided" by the decision.
During his April 24 message, Scott shared how the church's new name came to be.
"I wish I could say to that, on, whatever day it is, April 8 or something like this, the angel of the Lord appeared to me and said, 'Behold, this is your new name,'" the pastor said. "But that didn't happen."
He also referenced several Bible verses about God dwelling among His people.
"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," Scott said.
"It reminds us that God is making everything new," he added, "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."
According to the Dwelling Place Anaheim's website, the church seeks to "move beyond our history" from its origins in the Vineyard Movement "into our destiny."
"Our dream is bigger than building a large church or bringing life to the Church. Today we dream of partnering with God to build a better city. We know that renewed lives bring about a renewed city, and we believe that this is God's dream for Orange County and beyond."
The church's "Our Story" page details some of Dwelling Place Anaheim's goals, including planting churches and businesses and ordaining ministers and 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 church continued.
"Today, we are stepping into the story of God … not just for the sake of the Church but for the sake of the world."
Vineyard Anaheim Church Pastors Announce Split from Vineyard USA Denomination, Sparking Outrage
Photo courtesy: Daniel Tseng/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.